My clients often ask me about my own birth experiences and sometimes I have been hesitant to talk about them because I don’t want my experiences to influence the way they anticipate the unfolding of their own birth. However, the intimate nature of the relationship that we develop over time lends itself well to storytelling so I’ve decided to post about my birth stories for my clients and others to read. I particularly enjoy working with women who have had a traumatic experience of birth already and are looking for a more positive and empowering experience to help them heal. I relate well to these women as I have walked a similar path myself. The first of my birth stories that I am sharing is the one I refer to as my traumatic birth because, well, that’s what it was!! Next month I will follow on with the story of my calm, healing and very positive second birth.
I have a tendency towards minimalism and try to limit the things that enter my home to either truly useful things or things that I and/or my family really love. Not surprisingly, this means I regularly find myself negotiating my limits as my son brings all sorts of treasures (sticks, stones, empty packaging) home in his pockets that he swears he loves and needs to keep, forever. I suppose this tendency of his confirms my belief that children don’t need many toys, or perhaps they don’t need any at all. If given the chance, they will entertain themselves with the environment around them and whatever they have at hand through rich imaginative play. The less a toy does, the more it stimulates the imagination, and vice versa. Our son Oliver has received plenty of toys as gifts from others in his 5.5 years and has regularly borrowed them from our local toy library but we have only bought him a small number of quality playthings. This is also a reflection of our efforts to be mindful consumers.
Are you raising bilingual and/or multilingual children in Australia? If so, I can relate as I am too and I know a few things about language learning! I have been engaged in serious language learning for about twenty five years, since my early teens, both as a student and a teacher. I learned Japanese throughout high school including an intensive program in my final two years. When I finished high school I went to live in Mexico as an enthusiastic eighteen year old exchange student, unable to say anything in Spanish. Nevertheless, by the time I returned home twelve months later I was speaking Spanish fluently. My subsequent travels took me all around the world including to Germany where I lived with a family as an au-pair for six months and learned to speak German. Further travels took me to Brazil where I spent several months and learned to communicate in Portuguese. I then met my now husband, who is Italian, and although our only common language at the time was Spanish, I eventually learned Italian as well. Later at university I studied both Italian and Spanish at an advanced level and also took classes in Portuguese and French. In my final undergraduate year I undertook an internship with the Department of Education in Jakarta and learned to speak basic Indonesian. I then completed a Dip Ed specialising in EAL (English as an Additional Language) as well as LOTE (Languages Other Than English). In my professional life I have worked closely with families from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in many different roles and much of my work has been focussed on supporting the early language development of refugee and migrant children as well as providing opportunities for their parents to learn English in a supported environment.
Midwives and Mothers Australia recently invited me to write a blog to feature in their upcoming newsletter and on their website. So I did! I wrote about my ongoing efforts to carve a little bit of 'me time' out of every single day.
It was my first ever blog and I enjoyed writing it so much that I've decided to write more, so keep an eye on this space! To read, please click on the following link: https://midwivesandmothers.com.au/mama-community/how-do-you-find-your-time-out/