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?!?

xx

A

 

We have moved!

The-Motherhood-Project-LOGO

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 http://www.themotherhoodproject.co.nz

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!

Ashlee

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!

CheckbookRegister
http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/our-budget-binder.html

Make 2015 your ultimate!

A new year, a fresh start – the time to chase your dreams?

Make 2015 the start of something wonderful for you!

Do you want to:
be calmer,
know where everything is,
be more organised,
never miss an appointment,
save money,
try a budget,
eat healthier,
exercise,
start a new job,
begin your own business,
achieve at your current job,
work on your relationships,
spend more time with the children??

 

Make 2015 your ultimate year, and get ultra organised, by setting up your own Home Management Folder!

Whether you have your own planner or you’re creating a master organiser for the house (or both!), this month we’re going to show you how to start putting ducks in a row so you’ll have more effective use of your time.

 

WHAT IS A HOME MANAGEMENT FOLDER?

 

Its a place for you to organise your life, that of your children, spouse and household!

Bills, budgets, appointments, records… its the place where everything happens! When everything is all contained together, it makes it easier to find, easier to manage, and easier to follow.

 

WHY DO I NEED A HOME MANAGEMENT FOLDER?

Having everything in one place eliminates you forgetting! If you can free your mind from having to remember what bills to pay, what appointments to attend, what meals to cook, then you can focus on the fun projects!

Its a place that everyone in the house knows where information is!

If something happens to you (say you need a few days in hospital unexpectedly), then someone else can come into your house and look after your family, in the same way you would, because they have all the information!

 

HOW DO I GET A HOME MANAGEMENT FOLDER?

Hold onto your babes, TMP readers! This month, we’re going to show you how to put together a folder that will change your life!!!!

Every day this week, we’ll feature posts, photos, ideas, printables and inspiration so you can put together your own folder!

 

 

Are you up for the Challenge?

NO-SPEND FEBRUARY

February is a short month, which makes it perfect for challenges 😛

Its also the month that kids go back to school, Summer holidays are over, reality sets in, and we get our routines back.
It may be the month you evaluate your New Years resolutions, that may or may not still be relevant, and consider your goals for the rest of the year.

February is also the month that credit card statements come in, the spending from Christmas and any holidays bites, and the bank account is looking somewhat sad after uniform/stationery purchases.

So it makes sense that February is a fantastic month for looking at your finances!!!

Which is why, here at The Motherhood Project, we’re going to embark on ‘NO SPEND FEBRUARY’ – will you join us?!

A no-spend month is an easy and effective way of boosting your bank account without earning more money.
If we’re looking forlornly at our bills, my partner will say, ‘how will we get MORE money?’ and I say, “how will we spend LESS money?” . . . for many of us, there are some changes we can make to really help.

Quite simply, you pay all essential bills. That is all bills you need to live, or that you are tied into contracts with. This includes power, phone, rent, food.

You do not spend on clothing, toys, books, entertainment, trips out etc. – All non-essential spending is put on hold.

When I define essential, its somewhat confusing. In order to live, we need food, shelter etc. We don’t need phones (for most of us). Yet, if you didn’t pay your phone bill this month, you’d get hit with a payment fee, and still have to pay it next month. That would be counter productive! See what I mean?

So if you have loan payments, HP’s or other commitments, then do stick to them!

Obviously if you have a major celebration on your calendar like a wedding or family party, you have to ride those costs too! But you don’t need to go out for Friday drinkies with friends, or catch up on a coffee date, if you aren’t going to stick to water!

Also, let me clarify – this is your life! Your money! Your challenge! So if you missing out on a coffee date is going to make you hate on me … well, either get the coffee and be happy (and poor?), or evaluate how this challenge is really making you feel.

Because challenges like these really lay bare your spending habits, and that can make you feel guilty, angry, resentful and bitter (although at the end you will feel relieved and happy when you have saved a few dollars!).

How much you can save this month will depend entirely on your shopping habits. Maybe you’re already quite thrifty, or maybe you have a lot you can save on. I usually find that when I do a no-spend month, I have more than a weeks groceries worth of money I’ve saved. That to me is totally worth it!

So… are you in?!

If so, make sure you’re signed up >>>> to our blog updates and Facebook page so you don’t miss out on any savings tips!
Let’s do it!

2015 in 2015: It’s coming!!

Our new project is coming… and together we’re going to make 2015 super organised, super inspirational, and just all-round super awesome!!!

Make sure you are signed up to receive our post updates >>>>> on our side menu, so you don’t miss out!

If you’re ready to get organised, get motivated, and get out there to make life wonderful…. then you’ll join me in counting down until February!!!!!!!!!

How to Make Chocolate Milk

There is a new kid in town, and woosh, are they popular!

choco milk

I’m sure this newly released product, a collaboration between Lewis Road Creamery and Whittakers chocolate, has been a marketers dream. Dubbed ‘liquid gold’ and a sell-out across the country, consumers cant get enough of this chocolate milk – despite the media widely reporting that there are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a serving!!

I’ve been making real hot chocolate forever … why use powder when you can melt chocolate into milk and drink it warm! It’s my best winter indulgence! So it wasnt too hard for me to figure out how to make chocolate milk… cold.

Kids love it. I think it tastes just like that perfect bottle above ^^ too!

So if you can’t get the real deal, here goes!

choc milk

Get yourself 1 litre of REAL milk. That is, farmhouse milk (silver top), Lewis Rd Creamery milk, or raw milk with cream (yummy!).

Pour half into a saucepan and warm gently. Break up 1 block of Whittakers Creamy Milk (try and avoid the ‘one for the pot, one for the mouth’ if possible, but do allow yourself to sample a piece of two. You know, just to check it is ok :-P)

Use a spatula to use and make sure the chocolate doesnt catch on the bottom, add the remainder of the bottle, and then use a whisk to mix well (remember to keep on a low heat so it doesnt boil).

Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When it is chilled, it is ready… if you managed to leave it alone for that long!

I’m amazed that some people were shocked by the revelation of much sugar is in each bottle. Chocolate milk is a TREAT food, always has been, always will! Enjoy and indulge… everything in moderation 🙂

The Power of Life, and Reproductive Rights

New beginnings, new endings….
The pregnancy test… those little blue lines.

For some, it is a relief. For others, scary.
Sometimes happy, sometimes horrified.

 

Sometimes, making the hardest, biggest decision in your life, as soon as those blue lines have lay a situation down before you.

Abortion. For it, or against it. Pro-life? Pro-choice?
Silly teenage girls who forgot to use protection?
Well…. I recently read that the majority of abortions are undertaken by mothers. Women who already have children.

Doesn’t that turn your thoughts around.

Menstruation, sex, pregnancy, infertility, miscarriage, abortion and contraception.

Woman troubles.
Women’s troubles.

 

Making the decision to have an abortion…… then going on to have children,.
Having children… then going on to have an abortion.

 

Does having an abortion affect the way you parent, when you have children later?
Does having an abortion after you have completed your family, make you a better mum?

 

Abortion shaped me as a mother. After all, I wouldn’t have my eldest, my peanut baby, if I hadn’t had the abortion. Circumstances were such that I made the decision. I live with it. I’m not particularly proud of it. I did not enjoy it. I say I wouldn’t do it again, although I know if I were in the same circumstances, I would.

I’ve completed my family. My children are beautiful souls, I see magic and miracles in them every single day. Babies are a gift.
I have seen many a friend struggle with infertility and baby loss.It seems so unfair.
And yet, I don’t want another baby. I’m finished. I’d do it again so that I could be a better mother to the children I have now.

 

What having an abortion in 1959 was like . . .

http://www.buzzfeed.com/dianawiener/what-it-was-like-having-an-abortion-in-1959

“The abortions are part of my own history”

 

 

Pregnancy and birth are not an easy journey. It’s not a period of your life, either. It is signing on to be a parent forever. That is a lot for a woman. She must become someone else. And if she isn’t ready… Pro life, or pro choice.

The biggest and most emotional choice, when faced with those little blue lines.

No one else has the right to make it for her.
Every woman should have the right to decide what happens in her life.

 

 

 

And I do believe that each abortion sits with the woman, as part of her history, forever.
For good, or for bad.

For a beginning, or for an ending.

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited to be a part of The Motherhood Project collaborative blog! My name is Vittoria and my writing is controversial, serious and thought-provoking! I have a wonderful husband and together we have a large family! I love being a mum and I believe our children are here to teach us!!!!!!!

We have EVOLVED!

Welcome to the new look ‘The Motherhood Project’!

cropped-mummyandtummy-motherhood1.jpg

 

I’m thrilled to announce that The Motherhood Project has evolved into a special collaborate blog…. and I’m very excited about what this means!!!!

I feel incredibly blessed that a number of other NZ mum/writers have agreed to contribute to my new venture and I am looking forward to getting to know them better and reading their contributions each month.

 

 

Too often in our virtual worlds there is a lot of attacking/arguing/fighting happening between mothers. Not a day goes by where I don’t see some sort of ‘Mummy War’ happening on a page. It can start innocently, a genuine question or ask for help that escalates into a raging debate, where the anonymity of a screen means people don’t hesitate to attack, name call, and use cruel words.

I don’t believe that just because we choose to parent differently, we can’t all be nice. We are all different and that is what makes our world a wonderful place. We want to celebrate and embrace our children being different, yet grown adults are modelling the contrary.

Anyway….. what I am trying to say is… I want to turn that around. I want to show that parents can acknowledge differences, be respectful, play nice. I’d like to see one place where we can step back and say, ‘she is doing it different to how I would, but she is doing her best for her family, good on her.”

And that is why The Motherhood Project is now a collaborative blog, so we can see several mama’s insights on the world, the way they parent and live, and know that we are all great women, good mama’s and contributors to society……. regardless of whether we work or not, vaccinate or not, eat organic or not…. 🙂

 

Isn’t that exciting?!?!

 

Soooo… over and out…….. I’m handing the floor over to our new writers!!!!!!!!!

 

Ashlee