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Gentle protection for the whole family

I am writing this blog from our deck overlooking the Olifant’s river in the Lowveld. For the last 20 years, we have spent our annual holiday in the Lowveld of South Africa on the game farm we have a small share in. It is an ideal place for a bush holiday – restful and quiet. I have always been hyper-vigilant with my children’s health and even more so when holidaying in the bushveld or tropical areas. James, Alex and Emily have [...]

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Falling in love

It’s Valentines month and that always gets me thinking about love. On the 14th February, 24 years ago, I fell in love. I had known my husband for 6 years as friends and not once felt a tug on the heartstrings until one day I saw him in a different light – seriously it was like a thunderbolt hit me and I fell 100% madly in love. How was it for you? Love at fist sight? A slow gradual appreciation [...]

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Therapist resource list

I am often asked for names of therapists in the area of childcare that I recommend. I have decided to start a list that I will update intermittently on my blog of people who I have worked with or hear about from other therapists and patients. This list is not comprehensive but I will keep adding to it as I go along. If you are a therapist who wants to be on this list, please email me  or if you [...]

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The paradox of motherhood

I have been thinking about how often in motherhood, we become conflicted by our wishes and the decisions we make. You want your baby to sleep through the night but crave those cuddles of him falling asleep in your arms. You can’t wait for your toddler to give you 5 minutes to go to the toilet alone but feel anxious when you leave him with your nanny to pop out to run an errand. How can it feel so conflicted? [...]

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The sisterhood of motherhood

Dear Mom, When I was little, you were my world – your smell, your kind touch and the way you were always there for me anchored me.  In the evenings, you would come into my room and sit on my bed, I loved the way you stroked my head. Birthday cakes, baking and walks around the neighbourhood – all part of the long lazy days of my childhood. Then I became a teenager and I was sure you were completely [...]

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Memoirs of Sleep Deprivation

It is astounding how little we are really prepared for motherhood – no matter which book, how many talks and what courses we go on, becoming a new mom is a colossal shift. There are so many unexpected moments and emotions. Truly nothing anyone said to me could have prepared me for these. Sleep is one area where the shock reverberates day and night. As I reflect on what sleep deprivation meant to me, these are my “memoirs of a [...]

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A note to my Partner this Valentines day

Dear Partner I want you to know that I cannot do this without you. I married you because I was madly in love with you and wanted to spend my life with you but looking back, I had no idea what that meant.  I had absolutely no idea just how important you would be. You are the most fabulous father. You contain my emotions when I can’t. You pick up the pieces when I am at a loss. We wait [...]

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Holding each other in mind

Having a new baby can wreck havoc with your relationship. The reasons are numerous. Everyone is irritable – sleep deprivation does that to you. There is the measuring of ‘who does more’ and the resentment that the other expects so much of you or doesn’t pull their weight. There is the guilt – guilt about leaving to go to work and guilt about feeling angry. It’s a perfect storm. No wonder relationships suffer in the first 3 years of parenthood. [...]

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Is science always a good thing?

No one doubts the value of research and the development of technology that aids parenting and child development. But before jumping right in and embracing every new fad, I think it’s important to think through the value and potential risks. The latest of the tech offerings to come onto the market claims to enhance baby’s language and can be used to ‘wake babies up’ in utero – a vaginal speaker. Seriously, this small gadget is inserted into the pregnant mom’s [...]

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How to be a great parent in 2016

The start of a new year is a time for making changes and new starts. As parents we often look for ways to do things better and improve on our parenting skills. The pressure is immense to be a great parent. As a full mom of three and part time baby scientist, I regularly consider what should be prioritised as key elements to ensure a baby’s optimal development. Now, before I tell you what I think the top 5 fundamentals [...]

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11 September 2011 9/11

There will be moments in your life when you look back and know exactly where you were when something happened. The day the planes hit the twin towers in New York will probably be one of those days – 9/11. I want to tell you where I was – I had two little ones – James was 3 years old and Alex was 10 months old. And we were playing a game of ‘aeroplane-aeroplane’ – James had taken two of [...]

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How to be a brilliant dad (and perfect partner)

When a new baby arrives it is not just the baby that is born. A new mother and a new father are “born” too. Dads – your role as a father begins not just at the birth but during the pregnancy too. Here are a few tips of things you should do – and shouldn’t do – to support your partner during her pregnancy. Do listen to friends and relatives who have been there before. Other dads will tell it [...]

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Using Social Media Wisely

Recently I was going through a tough time and was concerned that my negative feelings were going to impact on my family, who had no control over what I was going through. I was chatting about it to a good friend who said that in these situations we can take the route of ‘Facebooking it’ – I asked her what she meant – she explained that when it comes to Facebook, it is inappropriate to air all your dirty laundry [...]

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Play Sense

It’s not what you play but how you play it. Play is the occupation of babies and children and I have written before on the value of play and how vital it is for your little one to be bored. This week, I read research by Moreau and Engese, who looked at how “Playing with Lego influences creativity”. They studied the effect on creativity of two ways of playing with Lego – the first group had to build Lego from [...]

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Primary Maternal Preoccupation

I had a good chuckle a few weeks ago – seeing this photo on Huffington Post! It was in relation to Mark Z of Facebook announcing that he would be having a baby. The article stated that Facebook would be changing their T&C’s to allow Mark Z to change everyone’s profile pic to one of his baby, along with other equally amusing terms. The concept relates to a common ailment of parenting, in which a parent becomes so obsessed by [...]

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Dear Mum of baby number 2

Dear Mum of baby number 2, You are expecting your second little one with such mixed feelings – excitement, yes! But also fear as you realise that everything you know is about to change. This time round you know just what the next few months hold – the sleepless nights, the teary tired days, the bottomless bowl of questions about why your baby is crying and whether he is ill or just cranky. You know what’s coming up. So your [...]

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The importance of PROPRIOCEPTION

Imagine there was a magic pill that could sort out hyperactivity, improve concentration, sort out sleep problems in toddlers, calm newborn colic and make kids brighter! That pill would be worth a fortune and make a pharmaceutical company VERY wealthy. Well, here is news, our amazing brains can produce and secrete neurotransmitters that can solve all of these issues. In order to secrete this wonderful potion, you need to provide your brain with a very specific sensory input, one that [...]

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#MagicalMoments: Falling in Love

I love this video because it really shows how little ones flirt with us. Lauren’s baby is completely engaged with her mom. She pulls her mom in and encourages engagement with her eyes and mouth. Stanley Greenspan, psychiatrist and expert in the area of autism, talked about opening and closing circles of communication and it is one of the hallmark features of normal social interaction for this age. A baby of this age opens a circle of communication [...]

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