You don’t see my child’s autism…

You see him spitting on the playground, but you don’t see that my child has only just learnt to talk. Aged 5.

You see him screaming at me, refusing to get into the car, you don’t see his tears of frustration because he didn’t get to swim at school today.

You see him chatting to me after school, you didn’t see him hiding under the desk in the classroom when it was too loud for him to cope.

You see him playing on the playground, you don’t see him hurling chairs because he cannot control his anger.

You see him functioning like your own son, you don’t see me wiping his bum, even though he is six.

You hear his yelling, but you don’t understand how he becomes so fixated in the shop, he cannot bear to leave.

You see that I can’t handle my kid. You don’t see that I can’t, that inside I am crying and wondering what the hell to do next. You don’t see that I can, that eventually I do get a degree of compliance that allows us to continue our day

You see him in the same clothes as yesterday, but you don’t see how he sat by the washing machine screaming for the entire cycle before putting those wet clean clothes back on.

You see him hitting his brother with little repercussion, what you don’t see is that this brother has wound my child up for hours before you arrived.

You see me wasting money on playdough and sand, you don’t see how this sensory play is calming for child.

You suspect I haven’t bathed the child, but you don’t see that showering him is an epic physical and loud battle so we only do it every 2 or 3 days.

You have my child on a playdate and tell me how wonderful he was, but you don’t see the after effects that last for hours as he struggles to reintegrate with the family after the change in routine.

You invite us to your place and feel a little offended we don’t show, you don’t see the massive anxiety meltdowns we had that morning that left us all exhausted and unable to face people.

You see me buy more of the same toys we already have, you don’t see that these particular toys are his obcession, 15 hours of the day.

You see he is well fed, but you don’t see the incredible effort that goes into ensuring the food is texturally acceptable, served on the correct plate and entirely made from scratch because there are food sensitivities.

You see an angry child, you don’t see the hours of emotional coaching that I wont undo just to fit your idea of what discipline should look like.

You assume improvement, but instead what you see are parents who have changed their lives and every aspect in it to ensure we have the greatest chance of pre-empting the anxiety.

You see my child in the car, you don’t see that I must drive a certain route home otherwise my child will tense and scream.

You see me carrying a naughty child, what you don’t see is that the scratch marks and biting and bruises on my skin are from protecting my boy from himself, and others from him.

You see the child, but there is more than what you see.

You don’t see the holes in my walls from epic three-hour meltdowns.

You don’t see the fear in the siblings when the screaming starts.

You don’t see the way we have structured our routine in the best hopes of minimising the frustration.

You don’t see me coaxing him from under the bed.

You don’t see how he hates to be touched.

You don’t see how I’m cleaning milk from the curtains and ceiling because someone sat in ‘his’ seat at the table.

You don’t see that his sensory issues prevent him from touching things that he considers unpleasant.

You don’t see how my child is excluded from playdates and birthday parties and sleepovers because others feel unable to take on these issues. You don’t see the hurt.

You see us drinking green juices, but you don’t see that we don’t drink alcohol, coffee, do drugs, smoke or any other vices. Our health is the only thing keeping our children alive.

You see us losing our temper, you don’t see that we have been on the go since 4am dealing with constant demands.

You see me swearing, you don’t see my debilitating anxiety that has developed since becoming a parent.

You see that last nights dinner plates are still on the table, you don’t see that I had to abandon the dishes because his fear about today’s maths test had him clawing the walls.

You see that I forget so much, you don’t hear my mind whirring with the million other thoughts I need to keep my children safe and happy.

You see my messy lounge and don’t see that I have spent the past 3 days rushing to specialist appointments.

You see the darkness under my eyes, you don’t see me up tending to my children until 2am, or waking half hourly to meet their needs that don’t end at bedtime.

You hear me joking about kid-free holidays but you don’t know that I have never left my children for any period of time.

You see an incredible mess in my house, you don’t see that I had to hold an anxious child for two hours.

You see my casual approach and I see your frown. You don’t see that this is an act I put on in public, to cope. Inside I am turmoil and rage and hurt and fear and confusion.


You see my stress and offer a solution, but you don’t understand that I have tried that solution before. Many times. And hundreds of others.

The suggestions you have read online, in a book, heard from a friend, come up with yourself… we’re not stupid. Usual tactics don’t work because my children are not usual.

Abnormal requires an abnormal approach, don’t judge me because you don’t understand my logic.

You don’t understand the life of this, unless you have walked it yourself.

Here we go again….

Its been a year since we were active on TMP! If you follow us on Facebook, you’ll know we’ve been busy posting articles and memes on depression, anxiety, parenting, our world, and some cutesies for a laugh too!

But here we have been quiet, and that’s because life became overwhelming for all of us admins again. We had issues with the kids, health issues ourselves, family issues, and of course, mental health issues. Something always has to give, and its far better we prioritise our balls and drop those that are less important.

Because sometimes life is really that difficult that just getting out of bed is a mission. Feeding the kids becomes a mammoth task requiring far more energy than we feel we have. Laundry becomes so unachieveable that we take a long look at that mountain of washing and lay on the couch instead.

And some days are better than that, of course! But when it comes to 8pm and we’re feeling empty… well, our blog doesn’t really feature on the list!

So there ya go! We’re working on coming back.

The exciting thing is we never stopped writing, so stay tuned for some great gems to come. I think its a little bit cool that some of my best pieces of writing come when I am in a dark place – a tiny positive in the bad patch?!?




We have moved!


There comes a time when you outgrow your space and need to move on – and we have reached that point with The Motherhood Project!

That is incredibly exciting! Building a new site allows us to refocus, to redefine our mission and we also took the opportunity to rebrand.

It is also sad, to be leaving behind so much history and all of our posts!

You’ll find our new site at

We’ve moved over our post popular blog posts, and we’ve started writing a lot more too! That is very cool!

I would love to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported The Motherhood Project thus far, by reading our blog, buying our books, supporting our fundraising projects, commenting & communicating with us – it is all very appreciated!

I do hope you will join us over at our new home!


Scaremongering at its best (worst?!)

Nothing causes panic like targeting the fears of parents. We’re geared to protect our young, and when they are threatened… we stand up and roar, or scoop our babe’s into arms and shield them away.

So it’s absolutely no surprise that the media articles garnering major attention this week have created a hive of buzzing amongst parents…. the baby formula powder 1080 scare, and Pete Evan’s new baby food recipe book.

In NZ, someone has threatened to contaminate baby formula as a protest over the use of 1080. While this is somewhat alarming, the Government withheld information over this threat for months.

As a result, shops took action, moving formula to behind the counter, using more security around the baby aisle. As calls to Plunketline died down, parents became more reassured that the powder was safe.

It is inconceivable that someone could actually think it would be ok to hurt children in this way.

It has also threatened our fragile dairy industry and could have had disastrous effects on the economy.

There are risks to all ways of feeding baby. I do believe that parents have been lulled into a false sense of security with giving their baby formula, forgetting that there are serious risks of using it.

However, not only does it exist hugely in our society, it does have its place. I have heard many valid reasons of why a mum cant feed her baby.

Piripoho Aotearoa stated this on their Facebook page yesterday:

**1080 SCARE**
There is a risk to every infant feeding decision, be it breastfeeding, donor breastmilk or formula. I feel that the threats have been made at the very people in our society who we should be supporting, and am shocked and disgusted.

Screened, donated breastmilk is a fantastic option for those who do not breastfeed their child. Assisting parents to source donated breastmilk from screened donors is a service which we provide at no charge. However if you have concerns relating to formula or donor breastmilk, you are invited to get in touch- ask us questions, or just vent about what is now going on in your families and minds.

Piripoho Aotearoa’s concern is the health and emotional wellbeing of families of young children, and we really feel for the families who have recently felt powerless as a result of this scare. Formula feeding is not a stress-free path to have to take, and I find the threats utterly reprehensible

Over in Australia, popular celebrity chef Pete Evans is under attack for publishing a recipe for homemade infant formula in his new cookbook (coauthored with two other writers).

The article states:

The Weekly online has learned publishers Pan Macmillan have held back release of Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way – following intervention by a consortium of health organisations that expressed grave concerns over the book’s DIY baby milk formula, based on liver and bone broth.

“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, has toldThe Weekly online.

“Especially if [the DIY formula] was the only food a parent was feeding their infant, it’s a very real risk. And [I consider that] the baby’s growth and development could be impaired.””

What makes me laugh (cynically) is this:

“Under the Paleo diet, all grains, dairy and pulses are banned. While adults can choose to follow such a diet, Prof Yeatman says it isn’t fair to subject a baby to what she characterises as an unproven set of beliefs.

“That’s the really troubling thing: the infant is totally at the whim of their parents when it comes to feeding,” she says. “If the wrong decision is made, they may be seriously affected.””

Everything that we do for our children is subjecting them to our beliefs… and I’m not talking about taking them to church. Some put their children in disposable nappies, which is said to increase the temperature of the genital area. Some formula feed despite WHO reccomendations to breastfeed. Some put their children into childcare, take them to the public pools, vaccinate, play in the rain, play with food…..

The book states: “All kids deserve the best start in life, and that means adopting a healthy lifestyle right from preconception, through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and into first foods.
“This book is a wealth of information on everything from where to source the best and freshest ingredients to how to make your own natural health remedies and how to rid your home of toxins. All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free and devoid of refined sugar, and instead favour ingredients that are organic, unprocessed and sustainably produced.”

Heaven forbid we embrace real food, right?

“Rather than shaming one another it’s time to surrender to the fact that nobody has all of the answers. That many alternative therapies are the basis of modern medicine. That advocating for healthy living isn’t quackery – it’s the foundation of wellness. If we don’t start here, we’re doomed! That without progression, trial, error and mistakes we wouldn’t be here. That alternative therapies play a huge role. That modern medicine saves lives. That modern medicine does not have all the answers and that alternative therapies may, in some instances, come with far less side effects to achieve a better outcome. Imagine! All of us working together to make a collective difference. This can be a reality. All that needs to happen is that we stop trying to outdo each other. Acknowledge the difference we are ALL making towards saving lives.

It isn’t a competition. It’s not a race. Nobody has all of the answers and that we all have a beautiful, important role in moving ourselves towards health, together.”


At the end of the day, I think we need to remember firstly how important breastfeeding is. As a nation, we must make it a priority to support mothers to breastfeed in the first year of a child’s life.

Secondly, we mustn’t forget how much of our food is at the mercy of others. Remember the big scare of yasinia food poisoning last year, and how for a week it was thought to come from bagged lettuce? Remember apples being recalled over fears of illness?

Finally, a healthy whole food, real food diet is essential, that is what kids need. Why are we letting the media attack a chef who is trying to promote healthy eating, while the fast food giants use toys to ply our kids and half the food in the supermarket is made from numbers/chemicals?

And we really must, as united parents, stop letting the media force us into pitting against each other. Instead of asking the big questions above, each time a feeding issue comes up in the media, it turns in a breast/formula debate.

I dont have the solutions, but I do think we need to be considering this.

Let us not forget how fortunate we are to have good healthy food available to us – what an amazing resource we have compared to so many less fortunate 😦



Ashlee is a busy mama on a journey of natural living with her family. She writes at

For infant formula:

From NZ Herald:

What to do

* Parents with any concerns could call Plunketline on 0800 933 922 or Healthline on 0800
611 116 for advice.

* The Ministry of Health said anyone who suspected tampering could contact 0800 723665 to report suspected tampering.

* Anybody who suspected their formula had been tampered with could also take it to their nearest police station.

* If cans or bottles of formula had tears, rips, holes, punctures or noticeable bulges, it was possible the product inside had been tampered with.

* Visit for more advice on how to check packaging for signs of tampering, and for information about government’s response.

* Police said those who had information about the threats should call the Operation Concord team on 0800 723 665, or the independent group Crimestoppers on 08000
555 111.

Exercise class 3

Exercise class 3


This Postnatal Core Workout – from Lindsay Brin’s Postnatal SlimDown DVD – helps create a flat stomach after having a baby. Also includes modifications for Diastasis Recti. You must have your doctor’s permission to exercise, which usually occurs at 6 weeks postpartum. As with any exercise program, please stop if you do not feel right.

This Core #1 workout is the 1st of 5 in the core progression to get your flat stomach, all 5 workouts can be found here on YouTube, subscribe to my channel

Lindsay Brin, creator of Moms Into Fitness DVDs and Downloads, Pre/Postnatal Research Expert, is a mom of 3. You can find more about her and her products at or


Making your HMF

Making your home management folder is quite easy, though it can take a little time, (or a lot, if you’re making it super pretty!).

You will need:

A folder


Post-it notes and stickers


A printer or access to one


Here are 5 blog posts of others who show you what else you might need:










Home-Management-Binder-620x620 *












Exercise Class 1

This month, we’re focusing on the post-partum body! We’ll post a youtube clip every second day to some videos or exercises we think are great – have a go!

P.S – I’m not such an exercise nut myself, so these aren’t my videos, I’m just sharing some neat ones I’ve come across!


To start with:

gentle post partum tummy exercises!


No-Spend February: Let’s work out what you are spending!

Sometimes it is helpful to look back at what you are spending.

For instance, we regularly go back and compare our previous power bills with our current ones (oh my, the price of power!!).

But sometimes, it is definitely better to face forward and look ahead, than dwell on might-have-been’s.

So this month, we’re going to move forward. So forget feeling guilty over your Christmas spending, your holiday frivolity, the past.

This month, we’re going to record all of our spending. It is a great time to do it, because we’re focusing on only buying what we NEED and must have, so we’re already trying to be very conscious of every time we pay for something.

Print out a form, create a spreadsheet, or throw a notebook in your bag – and write down EVERYTHING you pay for this month!

Here is a printable you can use!