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Blog Listing

A collection of stories, insights, pain and laughter that details our lives, our experiences as women and mothers and the wisdom that comes out of that.

Typical Boy

Julie Tenner

“…To love the men around you, see them through the eyes of the young masculine you are raising.  For every objectifying view you have about how he ‘is’ or ‘is not’, see how he is the opposite too.  For every moment you want to keep him boxed into your projection of men, based on the culture you were raised in, see how this keeps you and your story safe, and limits him to show up fully for you, in the way you are seeking.


Don’t cage an emerging masculine into a box.  Don’t objectify them.  We know how that feels as women.  Think about this boy you are raising and all of his wholeness and then see this in the men around you too.  Your sexual story is yours to own, don’t project it outwards…”


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Our Journey of a Triplet Pregnancy - a guest blog by Megan Temby

Julie Tenner

An incredible story about one mums journey through a triplet pregnancy, after being given a 100% fatality rate, to birth 3 healthy babies. She shares her story with us here and in the podcast, provides all the relevant links to foundations and organisations that helped her and gives her advice for anyone who finds themselves in a multiple pregnancy.

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The story of the Pepper Tree

Julie Tenner

Let me tell you a story about the Pepper Tree....

There once was a boy who grew up alongside the pepper trees.  First spindly and unlikely to develop in the hard, sandy soil, they grew into huge trees with canopies as wide as the depth of their roots.

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Embodiment and Play by guest blogger Sarah Chapman from Drama Rama

Julie Tenner

“…I spoke on the Podcast about the times in my life when I couldn’t laugh. When smiling was so hard that I didn’t think I’d ever get my mojo back again. I was so depressed that I didn’t think I could find a way out….When you can’t smile or laugh, I ask you to try and remember that sometimes things take time…and gradually the laughter, the deep belly laughter that can make you cry returns as well…

I challenge you to find that thing that makes you smile from your heart.

That one thing that you have loved for years. You may need to reconnect with your inner child or you may need to find something new so that you can smile and laugh and play….

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Guest Blog by Megan Osborne from Ali and Lior "The journey of miscarriage"

Julie Tenner

"...Joy filled my heart, and I can recall this one spectacular autumn day with crisp air and bright blue skies. I was hanging out the washing, beams of sun warming my skin. I closed my eyes and found the deepest gratitude for mother nature and my mother body, working on miracles I couldn’t see or fathom. I was thankful, and in awe. I was a mother....

....There's no comfort in that cold ultrasound room. I remember walking out into the busy street after that moment. I was almost surprised to find bustle and noise. Life was still moving around me, but everything had changed. I felt as if my world had stopped spinning, and my inner voice was silent. Unsure if my own heart could keep beating, when my baby's had stopped...."


 

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The hardest part of parenting is watching them struggle

Julie Tenner

"...“I CAN’T DO IT!”

“IT’S TOO HEAVY”

“I DON’T KNOW HOW!”

“YOU’RE NOT HELPING ME AND I CAN’T DO IT ON MY OWN!”

“I HATE YOU!”  We love you.  "If you say that again I’m going to hit you with a stick!!” We love you, we’re right here with you....

If we don’t let them struggle and say “I can’t” and “it’s too heavy for me”, then we teach them a type of learned helplessness.  Love is not always support, love is also holding them while they struggle, listening to their pain, believing with our hearts and our souls that they have it inside them already...."

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Do you hide in your motherhood?

Bridget Wood

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There's this friend I have, let's call her Kate. 

She is both simultaneously enraptured by motherhood, and broken by it. Her children calling her forth to shed layer after layer of who she thought she was. Her twenties spent building a home that would one day house the souls she now gets to grow with, guide, and love, amidst the four walls that remind her of all there is that is left to do.

The washing.
The glass ceilings to break.
The cleaning.
The womanly curves to love more of. 
The sorting.
The empires to build.
The lunches to make. 
The husband to love more deeply.
The endless questions and demands to be in service of. 

Kate is all of us, in some form. 

A heart divided. On a quest to create pairs of what seem like opposites, to cultivate more appreciation, more alignment, more depth in this motherhood gig, in a world that tries it's hardest to shape us into anything but ourselves. 

The paradox of motherhood is both how selfless, and selfish, a role it is. How unconditional is your love for your children? Really? It is one of the purest of loves, and yet in the face of shedding the conditions we place on it, we must also face ourselves, our expectations, our projections, our fantasies and our failings. Our children bring it all to us. 

What are the beliefs you have about raising children? Do they come to you, or through you? Is motherhood a burden or your freedom to be who you are? Does it enrich your life or allow you to 'play it safe' while you figure out what you really want to be when you grow up?

Whether we're conscious of it or not, it's the mother wound within all of us that drives us to show up the way that we do for our own children. Her 'self-sacrifice' will either have you feeling like you'll 'never measure up', trying day after day to 'get it right', or it will have you running in the opposite direction so you don't 'lose yourself' like she did.

If there was abuse or disconnection, you'll be in the grips of the same pattern, or doing everything you can to get out of it, determined not to perpetuate the cycle by 'upskilling' at every turn, making the problem outside of yourself, or overprotecting your children. 

Motherhood gives us a second chance to sooth and reconnect with the inner child in all of us, revealing to us where we ourselves are stuck, so that we can heal and create more freedom for our children to stay more connected to the essence of who they are, perhaps in ways we didn't ourselves experience. 

It can be a place to hide. Or a place to expand. We get to choose. Every day, asking more of ourselves than the day before, and making more safe and acceptable the full spectrum of feelings in ourselves as we navigate this journey, knowing that the more we hold space for ourselves, the more capacity we have to offer the same to our children. Every edge we face and grow through, providing the blueprint for our children to do the same. 

Our Aligned Parenting Program offers you the opportunity to connect with the grace, wisdom and spaciousness of the parent-child dynamic. Learn more and sign up for our LIVE round in April. 


Bridget Wood is a mother of two, Founder of Suburban Sandcastles and Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother. A lover of life and cultivating wellness, Bridget is passionate about connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. 


 

 


 

Why I choose not to yell at my kids

Julie Tenner

"...All of these are anciently programmed biological responses to stress and survival and form the basis for our adult relationships.  So, ‘fine’, is also not fine.  How we internalise the messages from our family of origin will unconsciously set us up for how we respond to intimacy, vulnerability and conflict as an adult.

When we flip the mirror of yelling back to ‘us’, instead of our children, we can also see it as a red flag of a trigger of our own. 
How did we get here?  Why are we yelling right now? 

What happened the moment before ‘I snapped’?

What is our internal dialogue?

 Are we ourselves stressed? 

Are we expressing how we’re feeling on the inside? 

Are we unconsciously ‘releasing’ the stored emotions of how we ourselves were treated as children?..."

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Calling lost libido?

Julie Tenner

"...It is ironic that the very product of desire, children, is in the end what we ‘blame’ for our lack of desire....There is no question that kids make a vibrant sex life more challenging.  The ‘in service’ role of mother can have family life feeling like a constant triage; assessing who’s needs are greatest at any given time, putting out spot-fires, leaving you feeling exhausted and like you’re falling short of the benchmark.

I often think a low libido has more to do with hitting another upper limit; waiting to transform our beliefs and ingrained body-patterns on our worthiness for pleasure and ownership of our own sexuality, than it does with life circumstance...."

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To stop at two...or make it three?

Bridget Wood

Some mothers 'just know' they are done with having babies. Whether it's making the milestones count in pregnancy, knowing it's your last, or having that definite feeling of completeness as your baby is born, or passing on clothes and baby goods with no expectation of seeing them again...

Despite thinking that I 'should' be done. I don't feel it. In my head I can come up with every reason why it would be wise to stop at two, but my heart is drawn beyond reason, to yearning for more. 

There was a moment, when six-month old Sylvie was sitting up at the table, tossing her food off the edge, that I looked at my two beautiful children, heart full of gratitude (even with the constant mess on the floor) that I knew there was room for one more at the table, and one more in my heart.

So how do we wrestle with that internal dialogue between our head and our heart, that can't make up it's mind?

How do we reconcile the voices in our outer world, which are actually reflective of our inner world, to find our alignment, and path forward?

I've been listening closely to my husband for clues at where i'm at. He sounds done. He'd be happy to be done. Babies aren't his jam, and while he loves his own without question, they're more fun when they hit the 18 month mark. And I get it! 

Just yesterday, his conversation shifted. His perspective opened up. His willingness edging closer to where i'd love us both to be. And yet I see his trepidation, because there are moments at night, when i'm up for the second time with our toddler, or when my patience is wearing thin, or my service is exhausted and I feel like i've got nothing left, that I could easily call it a day, too.

And yet, the truth is we are made for challenge. And challenge we will face throughout our lives, with greater willingness in the areas of our highest values. 

Learning, family and health are mine. My life shows evidence of this. Our highest values are the things that no one has to ask us to get up in the morning and do. They are what we find energy for, what lights us up in conversation, what we spend time thinking about, acting upon, and the they are the things we surround ourselves with.

When you think about growing your family, what's in the way? Is it your doubt of your own capacity? Or your relationship's ability to grow into the responsibility of more children? Or money? Health? 

These are all wise to explore, and yet, sometimes our innermost thoughts, which indeed shape our destiny, cannot be reduced down to rationale, as much as our control-loving masculine energy within us all would love them to be.

What if expanding your family unlocks in you a greater capacity than you ever knew possible, that fuels every area of your life? Intentional motherhood has the power to do this for us, when we lean into it's lessons, and look for the wisdom in the relationship dynamics unfolding before us, and in the pain we are being called to bear, to find the gifts on the other side. 

Whatever we run from, runs us. Be it our children, our work life, our relationships, our 'bad habits'; all of it. It's all there in service of us, to transform through the dance of life. 

And so, when you're thinking about the big question of expanding your family, sink into your body and it's wisdom, and cultivate a relationship with your inner self, the part of you that knows what it's here to do. To awaken, to grow through and to imprint the world with. 

Open your journal and start with the following questions:
What do I feel having another baby will give me and my family?
Where is that already present in my life? (nothing is missing, it all energy, changing form)
What's 'in the way' of making a choice here?
What am I afraid of losing? How would I grow through the pain of that loss; how would it benefit me?
How will adding another child enrich my relationships and family life?
How will adding another child create greater abundance for our family? (Not just monetary - but on that point, it's not how much money you have, but what you do with it) 
How will having another baby help you get paid to do what you love? (a common resistance is money, but with some extra questioning, we can 'breakthrough' this limit and see more growth)


Meditate on how you would love your family to look in the future. What are you doing? Who have you become? How do you relate to each other? 

Your thoughts, intentions, habits and perceptions are writing it all. What do you want the story of your family to be?
 

 


Bridget Wood is a mother of two, Founder of Suburban Sandcastles and Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother. A lover of life and cultivating wellness, Bridget is passionate about connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. 


 

 

 

 

 

 

The Baby Sleep Talk

Julie Tenner

"...If being all attachment and everything to this one person, or all routine and bound to home for fear of not being able to get your baby to sleep elsewhere or cope if they don’t go to sleep produces anxiety in you…then I feel you.  I get it. 

I’ve been both and what I can tell you is there is a WHOLE spectrum in the middle!  You literally can have your cake and eat it too. 

You can have rhythm, instead of routine, and have the flexibility to go where you want to and do what you want to. 

You can have connection that respects the needs of self (for us and them) and you can have love that is intense and vast and is still built on a foundation of strong attachment. 

I wish someone had showed me that..."

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Sibling Rivalry and how I handle it

Julie Tenner

"...I'm in the lounge cuddling a feverish four year old,
when I hear a piece of crockery SMASH in the kitchen,
followed by accusing and aggressive tones between my eldest two....

Here's the thing. 
You two know each other SO well,
you know EXACTLY what buttons to press to get an emotional response from the other. 

When you do that, when you push those buttons,
that person goes into overwhelm. 

Jade's overwhelm manifests as anxiety and she cries.
Heath's overwhelm manifests as anger and he gets physical.
In both ways you are flooded with stress hormones and your brain goes 'off line'. 

They are two sides of the same coin. 

When you are hurting Jade, you push it inwards
When you are hurting Heath, you push it outwards

You are actually both feeling exactly the same,
but one is inward directed and the other uses those around them to release those feelings. 

But Heath, it is not ok to take your hurt out on those around you,
it is your responsibility to work through your own feelings..."

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Sitting in the sweet spot of transitions

Bridget Wood

"...Because to trust that they are playing out what they need to, is to believe that they are whole right now; there's nothing to fix, no one to change for, and no part of them that is 'too much'. 

And yet to hold this space as mothers is perhaps one of the greatest spiritual practices, because we are called to also do the same for ourselves."

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An altruistic alternative to the Advent Calendar - a good deeds list

Julie Tenner

If you're sick of the consumerism of Christmas, or want to turn your children's focus from "getting" to "giving", then this blog is for you!

This type of Advent calendar alternative is from my sister (Charli Marden Photography and Design), who every year spends focused time on brining balance to her kids experience of Christmas, with an altruistic alternative to the traditional Advent Calendar - she creates a 'Good Deeds List'.  Each day they open an envelope and do the activity enclosed, together.

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Children's Wisdom and our lasting impact

Julie Tenner

"...We can spend so much time with our little (and big) ones that we often are too ‘blinded’ to really see who they are becoming.  

We can get stuck in monotony and think we’re making little difference, question why we spend so much time invested in finding answers, showing up even when we don’t’ feel like it and caring so deeply about the way we respond….

And then, there it is….those little pieces of ‘us’, the glimpses of deep wisdom and understanding, our legacy and impact on these developing humans and it breaks my heart open and floods my eyes with tears of gratitude...."

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Learning to love feeling ‘not good enough’

Bridget Wood

Feelings and emotions are such transient things, and yet when we look a little deeper, there’s a sense of familiarity with the ones that hold us in their grips most tightly - sometimes tethered to our being, not wanting to let go. I know this one well - the comparison to others, and then looking for evidence, for the ‘truth’, that they know more/are more/have more, than I could ever dream to be, plunging me into a shame spiral and rendering my morning unproductive as I wallow in self-flagellation, instead of showing up in the world, as my totally flaw-some self.

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Our love narrative

Julie Tenner

“....Show me how you were loved, and I’ll show you how you make love”

This is possibly one of my most loved quotes from Esther, it is a question that floats in my mind and body daily.  I think of it when I consider my own internal landscape, how I respond to different people, how I show up in my relationship and what I’m teaching my children in my ‘being’.

My summary of how Esther explains it is this:

A little child sits on the lap of the parents.  If all goes well, at some point the child will want to get off the lap and crawl/walk away to play, discover and be exploratory, and every little child will turn around and look at the adult who is standing there.

How we respond or how we were responded to is crucial..."

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Sometimes I feel stupefied by motherhood

Julie Tenner

"...

18 months ago, when Bridget was pregnant with Sylive, I remember her saying how ‘off her game’ she felt and by contrast, how ‘on fire’ she thought I was. 

At the time I thought she was delusional, but now I find myself in this same position; feeling somehow ‘dulled down’ in new motherhood and by contrast ‘everyone else’ (including Bridget) seem to have their shit together, their ducks in a line, they’re ‘all cylinders firing’....What is that about?!..."

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