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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.

Support in the home can equal challenge outside of it...

Julie Tenner

"...

This scenario fascinates me no end.  For me, its entangled in discovering our kids genius, in recognising their greatness beyond our limited views and trusting the journey of their evolution. 

It also highlights to me the nuances in both family and parent-child dynamics.  She was setting me up to feel the fear and frustration she does, clinging on so tightly I 'had' to remove my support enough for her to find her own internal resourcefulness and in doing so, allowed me to face my inner child fears, get congruent with my values, get honest in my communications and grow through witnessing her journey..."

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Why is my baby transverse?  Healing my generational story…

Julie Tenner

"...How different my relationship has been with my mum since this pregnancy, its easy to forget how ‘it always was’ previously.  I’ve grown up largely accepting that I didn’t ‘really’ have a mother, in the cultural or archetypal sense of the word.  I’ve carried decades of pain and was quick to bring up everything that was ‘wrong’ with her and our relationship.  I could list all the ‘unfairness’, all the ways she didn’t measure up and all the reasons I was going to parent in the exact opposite way....

...She withheld what I needed to learn on my own and she’s shown up in a softer way once I’ve learnt it..."

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100 ways to Nourish yourself as a Mother

Julie Tenner

"...This week we celebrate our 100th Podcast episode!  So in recognition of this journey, we have complied a list, with the help of our tribe, of 100 inspirational ideas for you to put back in to YOU.

Nourish yourself as a mother and the rest of your world with flourish..."

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"Go the fuck to sleep!" Exhaustion, judgement & the toolkit that got it all back

Bridget Wood

If the definition of a boundary is the point at which we're about to lose ourselves; I was gone.

At 3am one Sunday morning I found myself overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to hold space at all, for the raging and crying my baby was consumed by. My husband snoring beside me added salt to the wound. 

The absence of quality sleep is the one constant in the early years of parenting, for many mothers. And it can be our undoing; all intentions to be a centred, calm-amongst-the-chaos mother out the window, as the sleep debt takes it's toll, wreaking havoc on our sense of self, and our relationships.

On the surface, there seems to be only two options when it comes to night-time parenting; either sleep train your baby through 'controlled crying' or feed/rock/pat/shush them on demand throughout the night, often in a co-sleeping arrangement. 

Co-sleeping was always my natural choice, and it's been a beautiful relationship with both of my children in the early months; until it doesn't work anymore. And if we don't listen to the whispers within, that we need to shift something, it comes like a sledgehammer at 3am.

As I plunged into my own darkness and anger, and faced the mirror my child was reflecting to me, and really bathed in the powerlessness I was feeling in that moment,  I realised Sylvie was teaching me to let go - she was making me feel what she was feeling, so it would be painful enough for me to change something.

This is the profound nature of the parent-child dynamic, our children constantly reflecting to us where our next evolution of growth is; taking us to every pain and unmet need, and also every joy and excitement that's possible to experience. 

In the podcast episode 'When your baby won't sleep' I share the raw truth of what this pain was revealing to me, to get me to face and transform. 

And the remarkable thing is that when we transform, the world around us transforms. When we get congruent, align our beliefs, and create the space for healing, our children feel the warmth of this intention and respond. 

To move past the resentment I was feeling, and create the transformation I wanted in our night-time relationship, I ask myself the following questions:

- What is this trying to reveal to me about my own story? 
- How can I provide alternative opportunity for Sylvie to feel heard and release her big feelings?
- What are the benefits to me and our family of creating the change I want?
- What are the benefits to Sylvie in creating this change?

Clear and congruent to move forward, I setup and styled Sylvie's bedroom into a calm and inviting space, and spoke to her all day about how bedtime would be different, and that I will be listening to her tears and frustration as we make a few changes to her night-time habits. 

A breastfeed before dinner (instead of feeding to sleep), bath, massage, book, listening to her tears, and once they subsided, a lullaby and she drifted off into the land of nod. It seems she was welcoming the transition to more independent sleep, as she woke three times the first night, and only two the second, with just one feed during the night. By the third night, she woke just once, between 7pm and 7am.

From resignation, to building resentment, at my unpredictable nights and the constant waking, in just three nights I've created more spaciousness within me, which is paving the way for greater connection with my children during the day, and more time that's just my own, at night. 

And the beautiful thing? I'm so excited in the mornings to go and greet my babe when she wakes; it feels like I love her just that little bit more! 


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. 


 

 

 

 

 

Our Top 5 Podcast Episodes: a wrap-up

Bridget Wood

After almost two years, and over 100 episodes, we thought it was high-time we shared with you some of our most downloaded episodes, for your listening pleasure! 

The culmination of our work, musings, philosophy and approach to motherhood is presented and explored at depth through our signature 'Loathing To Loving Program' and private Facebook member community - if you're feeling called to nourish and awaken more of yourself, we'd love you to join us! 

1. NTM 65 - Relationships, The Masculine and The Queen's Code with Alison Armstrong 
In this episode we interview acclaimed author of The Queens Code, Alison Armstrong. We delve into juicy discussions around partnerships and relationships, the inner critic, how to transform your communication, how to love yourself and your men more fully.  Its a fave of ours and we really hope its as perspective-shifting for you as it was for us!

2. NTM 69: Women, Pelvises and Babies - Interview with Natalie Lejeune
This episode deep-dives into women, their stories through motherhood and their bodies afterwards.  We discuss pain, dysfunction, emotional and physical rebuilding and what insights such an experienced and sought-after professional has, as a French Osteopath who has been specialising in Women’s Health for over 20 years. 

Natalie completed a Master’s thesis on the impact of Caesareans on the pelvis and has executed extensive research on the consequences of hysterectomies and pelvic disorders, lumbago, sciatica and femoral nerve inflammation

3. NTM 82: Bringing Sexy Back
In this revealing episode Bridget and Julie challenge the accepted story that mothering small children equals no satisfying sex life.  What if there’s another way?  When we’re willing to look at what’s really going on for us, it is the pathway for deeper connection and fulfilment in our sexual relationships – it all start with us.

4. NTM 1: Why 'Nourishing The Mother?' Our stories, Our vision
Bridget and Julie launch the podcast show with an honest look at where they see the challenges of motherhood today, and also the beautiful opportunities to presented to us to grow, however it looks for each of us. Hear what inspired them to create this space and take up the invitation to join a community of women looking for connection, understanding and awakening.

5. NTM 70: Five Things No-one Tells You About Motherhood
In this juicy topic we share deeply from experience and wisdom the 5 greatest challenges of motherhood – you know those ones we don’t really talk about?? Those ones we keep to ourselves and struggle in private with?? Those ones…Isolation, Infatuation, Loathing, Body-hate, Identity. It’s juicy indeed!

 


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. 


Should you let your kids see you cry?

Bridget Wood

This was the headline that caught my eye in a weekend magazine. Thankfully the author recognised the value of expressing emotions, though one of her friends believes it's the mother's role to project an image of being 'bulletproof' to her kids.

I can't help wondering what is driving this belief. How is this an authentic human experience worth modelling for a child? Emotions are energy in motion - motion that is seeking expression, not repression.

And yet 95% of us grew up with the notion that only some expressions are 'acceptable'. And so we bury those feelings. Hence why this is a headline. 

Perhaps, we are worried that our kids will feel unsafe if we seem unable to 'keep it together', but I would offer that it's a beautiful pathway into modelling how to healthily express sadness, pain, fear and many of the difficult human emotions that we're rarely gifted the framework to understand ourselves. 

I was speaking with my mother recently about her experiences growing up, and she said 'feelings' were definitely never discussed. The youngest of 12, my mum was largely raised by her siblings, her widowed mother focussed on running the family business in order to feed, clothe and educate the children. I doubt many saw her cry when her husband died, such was 'the way' of the stoic women in my family. 

I have enormous reverence for this strong, determined woman, yet I want to know more; how did she really feel? Why couldn't the kids see her crumble? Isn't it okay to feel it all & then work on a plan of action?

The truth is, most of us would rather break a bone than plunge into the deep emotional pain that we have expertly buried deep within us. But the body keeps the score, and it's talking to us constantly, whispering, and sometimes, yelling, in order to bring us back into alignment with our authentic selves.

And so the first step is simply awareness. When you feel tears spring up in your eyes, what's your reaction? Do you try and wipe them away and 'pull yourself together' or do you create space for them to be felt and listened to?

What's sort of language do you use with yourself when you're sad or crying? Is it coloured in compassion, or judgement? 

When we can be with our own emotions, and not try to hide them; just ride their wave, we give our children permission to lean into the discomfort and allow the expression within themselves, and others, too. It's a key tenet in the development of empathy.

If we consider that repressed emotions can also manifest in illness and disease, it's also a wise and cathartic practice to move our emotions, rather than stifle them. 

Our tears and big feelings are a feedback from our psyche to compel us to dig deeper and understand the wisdom that's waiting for us on the other side. They are also a function of stress release, a biologically imperative process to facilitate healing. 

So grab the tissues. Feel the feelings. And if the feelings are overwhelming or you keep getting stuck in a pattern - join us in the Loathing To Loving Program and learn a toolkit to find the wisdom in your challenges, get clear on your own unique values that are driving you every day, and awaken and nourish more of who you are. 


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. 


 

 

To my husband on Mother's Day

Bridget Wood

It won't be a popular opinion, i'm sure, as the media thrives on just how hard we have it as mothers, but I don't need a special day to know how valued i am by you....

Getting to this point has required some ‘leaning in’ to the discomfort, i'll admit. Some ‘rewiring’ on both our parts. When it feels safer to take my hurt and anger and tuck it away deep inside myself, I’ve found ways to let you in. To ask for you to meet me there, and find our way out together.

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Setting limits and boundaries with ourselves and our children

Julie Tenner

"...Our ability to hold spaciousness for our children, to anchor whatever comes up for them and our family dynamic, comes from our ability to maintain our boundaries.  The stronger our desire to maintain our boundaries, the stronger our sense of self-worth and the more readily our children roll with our needs. 

It seems like a paradox, but spaciousness and freedom spring from feeling safe and how crumbled or in-tact our boundaries are, dictates how safe we feel to open up to freedom and spaciousness..."

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8 tips for a nourishing family holiday

Bridget Wood

"Are you keenly anticipating your next family getaway? Perhaps you have visions of an idyllic and relaxing time, or maybe you're a bit apprehensive about how it's going to unfold with little ones in tow. Fresh off the plane from Bali (and knee-deep in mountains of washing!), I thought i'd share a few tips that really 'made' the holiday for me, and us."

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The unimportant conversations

Julie Tenner

"...Connection with men and boys happens on their timeline and in a way that doesn’t have them feeling like a deer in the headlights, stuck and strung out for the “right answer” I’m probing for.   As my son grows into himself, connection with him looks nothing like the hours of infant gazing or pre-school cuddling..."

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Setting limits for our children

Julie Tenner

"...Children who constantly whine, ask for the same thing repetitively or test the same boundary are seeking clarity.  There is a level of uncertainty and with uncertainty comes anxiety, because the boundary is not clear; history would likely dictate that the limit has not been consistent. 

Sometimes its been a “yes” and sometimes its been a “no” and sometimes its just been plain unclear!

Perhaps you’re tired, perhaps you’ve worked all day and you’re feeling guilty about how much time you’ve spent with the kids, perhaps you can’t deal with the fall out of a “no”, perhaps you’ve wavered on the limit…there are any number of reasons we don’t commit to a limit and I’m not here to admonish you for any of this – Lord knows, I’ve done all of these from time to time..."

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Trusting our child's own voice, and finding ourselves there

Bridget Wood

"Waterbom Bali has children squealing with delight, but not this one; not in this moment. I could feel the tension swelling in my husband, his jaw tightening as his usual gentle nature gave way to hardened parenting in order to coax his son out of his fear and into the freedom and excitement that water play brings so many.

But the more everyone pushed, the firmer my son’s resolve became, and the more entrenched his fear; his body shrinking with the weight of his worry."

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Kids when they 'reset'

Julie Tenner

"...I’d heard the warning bells in the back of my mind, “what’s going on here?”, but I couldn’t pin point it.  He’d been sneaking chocolate all week, so I wondered why he so desperately wanted “sweetness” in his life right now.  He’d avoided cuddles and quiet down time with us.  I’d asked him directly if there was anything he wanted to share, but it was always met with a shrug and a “no”.  I was feeling out of sync with him, out of connection, but life is busy and I’m still feeling sick, so my reserves to put in for a massage or seek additional loving moments with him were down and I let it all go with small “bandaid” moments of reprimand and discussion and loving nudges..."

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Listening to our boundaries

Bridget Wood

"Because the boundary is the point at which we begin to lose ourselves. When we don’t listen to and honour our own boundaries in our motherhood (and life!), we’re a recipe for disaster. For flying off the handle. For blaming everyone else in the family for feeling tapped out, overwhelmed, and resentful."

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"What's wrong with her?"

Julie Tenner

"...Our children’s behaviour is never separate from our own.  Even my raging 3 year old.  What part of me is raging and feeling unheard?  What part of me is fed up and wants some attention on my terms?  Where am I stuffing down my feelings instead of expressing them?  Where am I denying my anger?  Why did the judgement of a 14 year old girl I don’t know and likely will never see again, sting?..."

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I think I could parent from lyrics

Julie Tenner

"...And then I thought, this is genius! I think it could really be a thing.  For instance, how many times do you want to say to your kids:

"Stop with your chit chat you're killing my vibe"

or

"Please hold your tongue don't say a damn thing"

But don't.  Well now in lyrical version, you can!..."

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Embracing the chaos

Bridget Wood

I felt the overwhelm arise in me. The clothes piled up on the couch, waiting to be folded. Lego underfoot. Baby getting frustrated. Every cushion in the house, and my bedcovers, on the floor; ‘a jumping castle!’, my four-year-old exclaimed, while sailing through the air.

My face softened. My hurriedness ‘to do things’, vanished. Where I was seeing mess, he was creating magic, I heard myself realise. I walked back through the rest of the house with new eyes. The Lego plane was on its third ‘rebuild’ for the day, the fabric book Sylvie had spent 20 minutes playing with had been left in favour of a hat, which she was trying to get in her mouth.

These elements of our home filled with so much potential for learning and wonder; expression and mastery. That I’d previously seen it all as ‘stuff to tidy up’ almost seemed foolish. 

As mothers, how much do we really allow ourselves to be still and marvel at their interests, their learning, the unfolding of who they are, right in front of us?

So often, the layers of responsibilities and subordinations to others, or our ‘perfect mother’ ideal gets the better of us. We hear grandparents or older people wistfully suggest we should ‘enjoy every moment’ while we’re feeling pained at the supermarket, enjoyment the farthest thing from our minds.

It’s no doubt the juggle of motherhood is real. How do we balance the tenuous relationship between being with our children and keeping up with the cooking, cleaning, life admin, and if you’re working, that too? It’s an age-old question, but one that I think we keep coming back to because in our heart we know these early years are fleeting. We know that what we do, and how we be, around our kids, matters. We know that their relationship with us forms the very blueprint for their future relationships, and how they relate to the world.

We also hear, in our moments of exasperation and ‘auto-pilot’, how much we sound like our own parents. And at some point in our parenting journey, we decide whether the way we are doing it is still working. If we are meeting ours and our children’s needs, or just treading water. Just managing all the balls in the air, or thriving as individuals and as a collective. 

The truth is, like no business is successful without work, focus, and a plan for where you’re going, neither is a family. Growth is inevitable; but intentional growth, in the direction of our dreams, is something that's up to us. How magnificent a prospect it is then, to realise that we have within us, the potential to transform how we relate to ourselves, and our children, along this motherhood journey.  

Our children invite us into this space of transformation every day. How often do you listen? Do you follow their lead into fun, or is 'seriousness' your modus operandi when the going gets tough? Freedom, softness and connection is usually just a perception flip away. 

If you’d like to join a tribe of mothers who are taking a new look at their parenting approach and the wisdom inherent in the mother-child dynamic, our very first Aligned Parenting Program begins in late April - register your interest here.

Want to bring more reverence and love to your motherhood journey? Reimagining Motherhood begins in May. 


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. 


Love-Bombing and Jail Break!

Julie Tenner

"...So blow off the establishment, sometimes it’s just worth it.  What my children learn from a day out of school like this is more than they could learn from a single day in school and we all leave our day behind feeling back in step with one another and back in flow with our joy..."

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