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I grew up in the same Brisbane neighbourhood I raise my children in now. It has been a joy to watch them make friends with my childhood friend’s children. I was surprised by how much I came to value being surrounded by a longstanding network of friends and acquaintances while growing my own family.
My husband and I have three children, Isabel (7yrs), Harry (4yrs) and Chloe (8 months). When not mothering, I am an audiologist who works for a not-for-profit, Hear and Say. The majority of my work is with children who have been born deaf and receive a cochlear implant. I switch on and program the cochlear implant regularly, and watch the recipients grow up to have exactly the same spoken language as my little ones at home. I work part time so I feel very lucky to have both a job I enjoy and lots of time at home with my children.
I was confident that life wouldn’t change too dramatically (ha). I was also under the mistaken assumption that I could shape the temperament of my babies.
My first-born was surrounded by classical music and lavender oil and yet remained the most high maintenance new-born imaginable. I have come to realise their personalities are pre-formed and that discovering who you have been gifted is one of the best parts of the journey.
I think there are moments when you are pregnant or after you have a baby where you can feel you have lost a bit of your sense of self. I think there is something really special about Bonnie & Kind, as it works for your child but also it’s something you would choose for yourself and it makes you feel good.
I also think being kind to yourself and building a village of other families around you who are kind is so important.
Overall I feel so much stronger, more capable and more content than I ever did pre-children. I think part of that comes from the self-effacing nature of motherhood. Somehow in the act of giving more to others you become a much happier person in your self.
Be kind. Be kind to yourself, your children, your partner and your friends. They will all fill your cup in return.