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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.

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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Appreciating when we 'self-sabotage'

Bridget Wood


It's no coincidence that while driving to the airport to catch my flight to Byron Bay, I was listening to a webinar teaching about balancing emotions when I found myself becoming my own immediate 'case study' just moments after it finished. I plunged into anxiety when I realised I'd missed the freeway exit to the airport, and was heading straight for the Westgate Bridge, adding 20 minutes to my trip. 

After calling my husband in tears (the benefit - he gets to step into his masculine 'action and solution' mode, and feel needed at the same time as I'm off 'stepping out in the world'; value on family, tick!), I gave myself a pep talk and got to the airport with five minutes to spare...which I quickly chewed up by going to the wrong gate, getting security spot checked for explosives twice, ordering, and having to throw out, my chai latte because of the extra security screening after going to the wrong terminal.

A classic comedy of errors, which with less awareness I may have blamed on everything in the 'outside world' or on my own stupidity, however knowing that we are always acting in alignment with our values and what's important to us, I could recognise that what was happening was my subconscious trying to keep me 'safe'; that is, the identity I hold onto as safe. My animal nature wanting to protect me from what I fear to lose if I 'step up' too much in the world, which is what this trip to Byron Bay signified. I dreamt of this when I was dreaming of bringing my daughter Sylvie into the world. I felt her energy there, and the pull to create events there too. To make meaning in motherhood and conscious conversation.

Because family and relationship, connectedness and attunement with my children, are really high values of mine, if I perceive that expanding in business will take away from that, then I'll tend to curtail myself in this area at every turn. But the thing is, this belief is not truth - it's just that; a belief. Held onto strongly at times to validate my choices in life, and perhaps unconsciously on some level, it's not even my core belief, but epigenetically handed down to me from my grandmother who worked her whole life to raise 12 kids and contribute to her Church, was absent emotionally much of the time and felt guilt for that, and my mother, her twelfth child, who gave us everything she perceived she missed out on; the pain so great she went the opposite way in service of us.

When we talk of 'self-sabotage', we miss the love in our actions. That so often, our actions are driven by what we most perceive is missing in our world, thrusting us forward to pursue what we most desire.

Could self-sabotage therefore, actually be a form of self-love?

Instead of making errors out of 'stupidity' and 'not thinking' (which is common negative self-talk), was I actually being guided by what was most important to me - albeit in a very roundabout way?

When we open our minds to consider the benefits to us of the things we judge ourselves for, we awaken a greater capacity to love ourselves for all our foibles, beginning to see that there are no mistakes.

So what is it that you would love to do, be and have in the world, but instead find a host of reasons why you can't do, be and have them?

Are these things really inspiring to you, or fantasies that having nothing to do with what your life demonstrates as important?

What feels most missing at the moment? Are you willing to create it?

There is an inspired vision within all of us, that wants to contribute to this world in our own unique way, to turn our obstacles into opportunities, and yet so often we fall into patterns where we continuously recreate the same dynamics that while 'keeping us safe' in our perception, they are not aiding our growth.

The quality of our lives is based on the quality of the questions we ask ourselves, and our willingness to step out of a 'security' mindset and into a 'service' one. To look for meaning, to unlock wisdom, and transcend illusions of pleasure and pain to find the love at the heart of it all.

Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 

If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children?

Julie Tenner

This is a question Bridget asked me today:

"If you could look into a crystal ball, what would you want for your children and how can you lay the foundations in parenting?"

One of my favourite questions is what do I want, yet we have to remind ourselves to ask it...What do I want.....?

For my children I want:

  • A courageous individual who can laugh at themselves and continue to show up

  • Someone who can connect to their pain, turn towards it and love even harder

  • Someone who has enough self-belief to be selfish and self-motivated, enough humility to know they are not defined by what they achieve and enough honesty to be dark and know their wholeness

  • A human who feels connected in their body and beautiful in their skin

  • A relationship with their family that catapults them into seeking, but always brings them home to loving arms, warm hearts and deep conversations

  • The ability to think outside the box, to challenge the status quo and to ask why

Of course, whatever I want for them is in some way what I am seeking for myself, which is funny when we think of our life like this.  We are all looking for and seeking the very things we perceive were or are missing for us.

It's why we're the perfect parents for our children, because our own wounds will lead us to actively seek the 'remedy' to fill the void (the pain) we feel - what we want for them will be part of our own genius.  We have already travelled the path they are on or will be on, we've already done the hard yards, learnt the lessons and gained the very wisdom they need distilled down to them to get through their life's challenges and towards your desired outcome.

It is always why it can be so darn painful to parent because our children are hardwired to push our buttons, which 'forces' us into growth and (hopefully) the right toolkit to find our way through with ever greater wisdom, genius and abundance in this area of life.

So when you look at what I want for my children, you can see my own values at play:

  • Family
  • Career
  • Wellbeing

Which speak to my own voids within each of these areas.  What I want for my children is essentially the essence of what I perceive was missing for me and that my heart aches to achieve.

The next part of Bridget's question was " can you lay the foundations in parenting?", which I find inspiring.

How do you lay the foundations of emotional intelligence, of wholeness (acceptance of light and dark), of stepping towards pain (not avoiding it), of the art of communication and resilience?

  • We listen, we hold space for raw unedited emotions, we acknowledge the painful and uncomfortable by bringing them out of the darkness and discussing whats going on for each of us.
  • We allow rage and anger and we find ways to MOVE them.  They are only toxic when they stagnate like a bog with no flowing water.
  • We invite in vulnerability and slow softness.  We teach our children the quiet side of abundance.
  • We give language to their feelings, we connect these words to their body sensations, we learn baby-steps to self-awareness and we help them carve out a toolkit to move these emotions through their body.
  • We hold the space for them to experience and struggle with challenge in their lives.  We don't solve it for them, we trust they have everything they need inside them to find their way through with a stronger sense of self and a clearer intuition.  

How do you lay the foundations of body connectedness, awareness, governance and love?

  • You provide opportunities for them to experience their body outside of what it looks like and enjoy it!  Massage, movement, playing, dancing etc.
  • You marvel at how amazing their body is when it heals, when it communicates to them through sensation.
  • You bring their awareness back to their body, especially when they are lost in their head.
  • You teach them how to tune into their body, how to breathe to where it feels tight, how to ask what their body is saying to them and listen for the answer.
  • You teach them that their body is sacred, it is precious, no part less so than another.  It is their right and their 'job' to stand up for their body, to protect it, to keep it safe.  
  • You teach them how to know what they desire, what they want, how to listen for what they need and how ask for it.
  • You help them know the deep truth that pleasure is their birth rite.  They were born of pleasure and into pleasure, they are literally made of love.  This is their barometer for discovering in this world - if it feels pleasure-full seek it out, if at any time it stops being pleasurable, stop, and it is always ok to stop at anytime, anywhere.

How do you lay the foundations of self worth, self belief, creative thinking and enough tenacity to stick at something?

  • Be crazy with them!  Show them what it is to live loud and proud, with a sprinkle of "the subtle art of not giving a fuck".  Be you, be real, be authentic - all easier said than done, but they're watching you and learning.
  • Celebrate their quirks and offer them tools for continuing to show up even when it hurts.
  • Recognise their genius and talk to them about what you see them really loving and excelling at.
  • Offer boundaries and know you are worth the time, effort and energy involved in maintaining them.  Talk about respect, honouring yourself and listening to your needs.
  • Discuss the universal principals of challenge and support, the importance of finding your way through something not around it, how our genius expands when we are willing to keep going and the rewards are even sweeter (then actually allow them the time and space to experience challenge).
  • When the going gets tough, don't look to remove the 'problem' (the person, situation etc), instead ask what your child needs to step up into their power and how you can help resource them to move through it.
  • Continue to ask, why?  Watch documentaries, have difficult discussions.
  • Celebrate the milestones of change - when you know they've been working really hard on something, when its been a continuous conversation in your family and then they actually display it, point it out!  Let them know the effect it had on you, how you felt in response to witnessing them achieving this.
  • When they creatively find a way around your rules, occasionally hold onto a sense of humour about it and recognise the creative genius involved in working that situation (and everyone in it) out and figuring out how to get their needs met.
  • Be willing to have negotiations.  On everything.
  • Encourage them to pursue what lights them on fire, what illuminates their soul and makes their heart beat a little harder and a little faster.

If you want to step up with us to resource yourself to learn about the parenting you never received and have the toolkits to providing the vision you have for your family, join us on Monday 16 October for Aligned Parenting.

It's just $149 for two weeks of content and coaching with us, including a LIVE Webinar, private Facebook group, and a further 6 weeks access to the course content to revise at your leisure as well as immediate access to our members only Facebook group.

Join or find out more here.

Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.

3 ways to transform challenging behaviour in your kids

Bridget Wood

As mothers, the catch-cry ‘Is it wine time yet?!’ kinda goes with the territory some days, but if we’re going around in circles in a challenging dynamic with our kids, it’s not just about them – there’s some ownership needed.

1.     Recognise the Universe inside you
When things are going awesome in our lives, and things just seem to divinely appear, we love to bow down to the magnificence of the Universe for guiding the way. Conversely, how much have you sat with the fact that when the Universe continues to deliver, but in ways that we don’t want, there is also divinity at play? The great mystic and poet, Rumi, said ‘You are the Universe in ecstatic motion’, which essentially means that we are creating everything. Perhaps we are all manifesting our own Universes and momentarily (at least in Universal Time) get to circle in the orbit of one another’s, giving the illusion that there is one singular reality. It’s humbling to ponder. Regarding our kids, they are acting in ways that are assisting our growth, even if it might be challenging. The perception we have of them, is informed by our own beliefs, triggers and values, and the bigger the ‘story’ we have, the bigger, in our perception at least, the challenge we’re being invited to work through.
Get curious when you feel a familiar feeling arise in you and ask yourself – what happened immediately before I became aware of this feeling? When have I felt this before? What does this remind me of? What is it asking me to face within myself?
When we begin to ask questions about what’s going on for us, we get a glimpse of the co-creation at play between us and our children, and in the relationships with those around us. We have the opportunity to shrink away from the pain it’s bringing us, or lean into it and choose a new story. It’s not what happens to us, but how we perceive it, that decides our experience of life.

2.     Identify the trigger
What is it that sees you go from calm and centred to wild and angry? That you always just seem to get (sometimes irrationally) frustrated with? Or maybe there’s a big wound or source of pain you keep getting pulled into with your kids? It’s no coincidence that it keeps pushing your buttons – it’s there for you to learn from. Usually it’s roots are buried deep in your own childhood. Take my friend Sally; she grew up with a father who lavished love through food, and a mother who was enormously judgemental about food, weight, and appearance. Who still serves her adult boys big slices of cake, and the women in the family, a small sliver each. Sally is deeply challenged by the judgement her mother directs to her four-year-old daughter about her eating, and food choices, and wants her daughter to have a much more balanced approach to food.  We got talking about our kids and what they eat, and Sally mentioned her daughter seems to want to eat all the time, but she’s getting her to focus on meal times rather than eating whenever she wants. As we pulled apart ‘why’ this is a problem for Sally – what would happen if she actually did just let her daughter follow her appetite and eat when she’s hungry, Sally realised that what was playing out in the dynamic with her daughter was actually related to the issues with her mother. She was perceiving her daughter’s food habits as a problem because of her own story and emotional triggers. Filtering her perceptions to conform to a long-held story – to ‘keep safe’ the beliefs instilled in her, even though they are uncomfortable. Finding the ‘space in between’ the trigger, and the emotional response, is our opportunity to re-pattern our own experiences coded in our brain, and choose a new path for us and our children.

3.     If you spot it, you’ve got it!
Carl Jung, the famed psychologist, coined the term ‘The Mirror’, which means that we can see nothing in the people around us, that isn’t also within us. Most of the time, we are either to proud, or too humble to admit that was we see in others, we have in us, just in a different form that we haven’t brought light to. Our most ‘disowned parts’ we tend to breed in our children, to get us to love those parts of ourselves – because no matter how painful it gets, we will always love our children. How profound is this incredible design that’s leading us back to love. To wholeness. To oneness.
Next time you find yourself getting frustrating at your child thinking in your head, ‘they’re just so…’ or ‘I wish they would just….’, ask yourself where you also display the same trait you are finding difficult to witness in them. Sit with the idea that you are only seeing this, and being frustrated by this, in order to face it within yourself.

You can still have the wine, and the vent, and let off steam in whatever way you need, but developing the curiosity to understand what your world is trying to teach you; what your children are seeking to shift in you, brings a richness to mothering like no other.

If you would like to integrate these tools more powerfully into your life, explore our online programs Aligned Parenting and Loathing To Loving 

Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 





The elusive seductress of self-worth

Bridget Wood

Self worth.  We could all spend a lifetime trying to work out the secret to deep, integrated worth and still never quite attain a universal solution.

The reason for this is that each of our recipes are slightly different and our paths to acknowledging ourselves vast.  There is no one size fits all approach.  

We all want more.  More self value, less comparison.  More awareness, less judgement.  More compassion, less critic.  More self belief, less self flagellation.  More body love, less body punishment.  

And we want it for our kids.  

We want our daughters to go live the life they imagine, unencumbered by our self doubt and resignation.  

We want our sons to be fully seen in this world, unrestrained from our apprehension and doubt.

The only universal truth here is that what we embody, they seek to repeat or repair.

You know this because everything that was 'good' you seek to replicate in your own life.  Everything that was 'broken' you seek to undo or do the opposite of; we're all healing an inner child and not because anyone told us to, because we have an innate driver to be whole.  

The 'good' informs us as much as the 'broken'.  We pursue a life, full of choices, based on their very presence.  Whatever you perceive to be missing in your childhood, your family dynamic, your parents relationships creates a void, a gaping black hole of a wound that is constantly seeking to be filled and like a black hole, it sucks everything into it that looks like contains some sort of panacea; we filter our world and the daily barrage of information, specifically (though unconsciously) seeking for 'things', dynamics, relationships, experiences and meanings to fill it.  

Enter life purpose and your hidden genius.

So there IS method in the madness.

For me, it also highlights that we can wish whatever we want for our children all we like but ultimately 'their fate is sealed' by what we DO and embody for ourselves.

If they don't see it, they can't replicate it.

The self worth we wish to foster in our children is as much what we do to and for them as it what we do to and for ourselves.

The self worth we foster in our children influences every relationship they will ever have, including the level of intimacy they move towards.

So are you taking the time to parent yourself consciously?  

Aligned Parenting is about the dynamic mix of consciously parenting our children (and equipping ourselves with a toolkit to do this) as much as it about what to do with ourselves to heal our own wounds and triggers so we can show up for them with a 'clean slate', as unhampered by our own judgements as possible.

Julie Tenner is Co-founder of Nourishing The Mother and is The Pleasure Nutritionist. Julie is a Naturopath, specialising in women’s and children's health, with specific focus on awakening women to their full potential – health for the mind, body and soul – creating lasting life change for you and your family by “coming home” to your magnificence.

Tears, Tantrums and 3 year olds – My Top 5 Tips!

Julie Tenner

"...We can help our children learn feelings, empathy and how to grow through these challenges.  We don’t need to fix it, change it, or have the answer – so breathe, relax your body, relax your mind – you don’t have the pressure of finding the solution, only of listening to how you are feeling, holding space for the same feeling within them and showing them the way back to balance THROUGH this emotion...."

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On letting go of the mother you 'should' be, to embrace who you are

Bridget Wood

Before I became a mother, I read ALL THE THINGS. "How not to f*ck them up" was one of them. I was going to ace this motherhood gig and do things the 'right' way to raise a securely attached, confident, lovely human being.

Sound familiar? Maybe you've found yourself 'down the rabbit hole' of trying to be the 'perfect mother' too. You'll know it if you have other voices in your head, that aren't your own, telling you how to do things, or berating you when you 'fall short' or you're not 'conscious enough'.

In my case, all the voices in my head from all the 'experts' didn't know one thing; they didn't know me. The parts of myself I would face, the buried beliefs I would invariably dig up, the long-lost pain of the past that was creeping into my consciousness saying, 'come, this is the way', when I want to run in the opposite direction, numb out, or fight it.

Because the thing is, whatever we have 'run from' in our own childhood, we are going to 'run into' with our own children, until we can make conscious the unconscious dynamic that's at play.

That thing they do that gets you going from calm and centred to wild, within seconds? It's not isolated to them, like a mirror it's reflective of something bigger, and not separate from us. The anger masks the fear that's coded into our brain, because our children 'plug us in' to our own 1,2,3,4+ year-old selves, to face, and integrate, what we've got marked as 'unhealed' in the recesses of our psyche.

Facing these parts of ourselves - THIS is the work of motherhood, if we are to step into our greatest alignment as parents. Beyond the tasks, techniques and service to our children, is the awareness we are being called to give to ourselves, and the dynamic we are in with our children and family.

What is it you find you are most judging yourself for in mothering? Where did you pick up that belief? If you think it's true - who said so?

Do you have a version of the 'gold standard' in mothering? What does that look like? Have you ever considered what the drawbacks might be to you or your children if you were 'that'?

When we want the very best for our children, we can tend to internalise the voices and opinions of others who we look up to, instead of connecting to our authentic selves and bringing the best of 'us' to the moment. Our children can send when we're wobbly or incongruent, and keep pushing the same 'button' for us to help us find our voice, transform old beliefs, and smash our fantasies of there being 'one right way'.

So I'm not going to be the poster 'Pinterest' mum.
Nor am I going to play on the floor with them happily for hours on end.
But I'm going to listen to my children, respect their wholeness, and nourish them as best I can.

You've heard it a thousand times before - there is no 'perfect mother', but there's a million ways to be a good one. When you step into your unique truth, values, and vision for yourself and your family (and no one else), this is where you get to shine, and feel aligned. Your children are guiding the way - and in your greatest 'rub' with them, lies your greatest wisdom. May you find the space within you to feel it, hear it and see it. You've got this, mama.

Bridget Wood is Co-Founder of Nourishing The Mother and a lover of life and connecting people to themselves through wisdom, introspection and quality questions. Bridget is also the Director and Events Manager of Suburban Sandcastles. With an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a desire to understand the bigger picture of human behaviour and how the world works, Bridget is on an inspired path to learn more deeply who we are beyond the limitations that we, and our society and culture, place upon upon us. 

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