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connect2mums

australia & new zealand

MAGAZINE

celebrating motherhood the body image movement finding your balance birth photography what’s hot

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Connect2mums!

We’re thrilled to launch our new Connect2mums magazine! Whether you’re a working mum, a stay at home mum or a mum in business you’ll find mums like you making new friends, building relationships and chatting about everything from babies to business, and beyond at

Connect2mums is a place where you can read articles, join discussions, come along to our hilarious live chat parties and enter great competitions! At Connect2mums we provide great support and information for mums. Our members say Connect2mums is one of the most welcoming and friendliest sites they’ve experienced! It’s free to join and its a whole lot of fun! Connect2mums is also home of the AusMumpreneur Awards and Mumpreneurs Conference which celebrates mums in business and are held in September each year. We also publish an online magazine filled with articles, interviews and inspiration. There’s something for every Mum! So come and join us, we’d love to see you there!

Peace & Katy

Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner Editors

connect2mums magazine

Editorial Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner Cover Mum Caroline Africh Cover Photography Bailey Yan Photography Advertising enquiries

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Contact us

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meet mums like you at connect2mums Join us at connect2mums www.connect2mums.com.au Find us at facebook - connect to aussie mums Follow us at twitter - @connect2mums www.connect2mums.com.au

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BRINGING BACK BALANCE

Balancing life and Motherhood

Caroline Africh shares her thoughts on creating a balanced life Mumpreneur, Caroline Africh is the owner of Things 4 Bubs, an online retailer and the sole distributor of Attipas toddler shoes in Australia and New Zealand.

How did you get started in business? I had always wanted to work for myself but never had the time (or money) to do so. When I left the corporate world after having my son in 2011, I found myself looking for new ways to balance work and home life. After stumbling upon Attipas toddler shoes in Japan, I knew I had found something unique so set about to become the sole distributor for ANZ. How are you balanced in work/family and yourself? I am still a SAHM, caring for Henry fulltime. I work around his naps, his meals, his bedtime. It was difficult at first to find a healthy balance but if you set your mind to something you can achieve it!

Caroline Africh owner of Things 4 Bubs (Attipas Australia) Photographer: Bailey Yan Photography

How do you ensure you keep this balanced? I always put Henry first, ensuring his needs are met each day. I rely on the odd babysitter (usually family) when work calls, but in general I am always there at home to ensure everything is in order. Henry has recently started daycare 1 day/ week, giving me more time to get on top of things!

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Tell us about your typical day I get up with Henry, between 5.30 - 7am. I then get our breakfast ready, whilst working on my laptop and answering emails. Morning is usually spent at swimming, the gym or playgroup, followed by lunch (again at home), and Henry's nap. This is where I get 2-3 solid hours to work, and make those important phone calls or do those critical tasks. Henry wakes up between 3-4pm, and usually we play games, read books or cook dinner. Soon afterwards, hubby gets home, and helps with the bath & bedtime routine. When Henry is finally tucked away at 7pm, I spend a few more hours fulfilling orders, doing PR/marketing activities or other tasks. Finally at 10pm I might sneak into bed. What activites do you do to keep yourself feeling balanced? I go to the gym 2 or 3 times each week, ensuring I get some 'me' time and Henry goes to the attached creche, which he loves. I also sneak out for the odd mani/ pedi, facial or brow treatment when I can. Weekend time is family time and I always try and minimise the amount of work I do. How do you ensure your family and partner feel that they are getting enough of your time? My family know I am devoted to them and try my best to balance my time around them and work.They are all very

vocal though and will let it be known if they are not getting enough of my time! How do you stay on top of the work load? It's a never-ending to-do list, which I have realised will continue until I have the capacity to take on staff. Rather than stress though, I do each task one-by-one, and ensure I prioritise accordingly. What hours do you work? 30+ hours / week, scattered around my son's naps, meals, bedtime and daycare. How do you fit in friends and me time? I usually see friends over the weekends or for a mid-week evening meal, though definitely not as often as pre-kids. Thankfully most of my friends are in the same boat so everyone is very understanding. Me time is usually when hubby manages to get home early from work (not too often!). What do you see as the biggest challenges for mums in business? Being able to achieve their dreams with such limited time. Time really is of the essence, especially in business. Also being deterred from their paths through their own self-doubt. What balance tips would you give mums? If you believe in yourself, you will get there. Ignore self-doubt or others that want to bring you down, if you believe it you can achieve it! Caroline Africh www.attipas.com.au

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INSPIRATION

Capturing life’s precious

moments I recently had a chat with the intriguing, Melbourne-based photographer, Jillian Harris of Spikey Hedgehog Photography. Her amazing work captures some of the most intimate moments a family will ever experience and the very real emotions experienced are all represented too. Unlike wedding photography or studio portraits everything is completely authentic and so intense, there are no posed shots here. The birthing process is a unique time and its not surprising the parents forget all about the photographer in the room and just concentrate on the job at hand welcoming a new life into the world. The result is absolutely incredible and unforgettable images which the family will treasure forever. Tell us about yourself and your business?

I am a mum to four active children who keep me very busy. My business has been my “5th” child and I have been passionately building this for the past two years. I now specialise solely in birth photography as well as working hard at raising awareness for this beautiful genre both to expecting parents as well as professionals involved in the care of pregnant and labouring women.

How did you get started in photography?

I had been involved in photography from a hobby perspective from my early teens. My entire teen life is documented through images that I took great pride in. I had been very busy through my 20’s having my family and so it was not until after the birth of my 4th child that I decided to study and complete my diploma of photography. However, it was by associating and learning from a variety of photography mentors that I felt I was able to really improve my standards and find what it was that I truly wanted to specialise in. www.connect2mums.com.au


Do you attend the whole birth from when contractions begin?

What inspired you to specialise in Birth photography?

My passion for birth, newborns and expecting mothers has always been a part of my life. I am a qualified mothercraft nurse, studying in the UK where I grew up. To combine my love of photography and my passion for all things birth was truly a dream that had become reality. What is the atmosphere like in the delivery room?

This varies greatly based very much on the expecting parents and the type of labour experience involved. It can be humorous and funny especially during early stages of labour, and then can become intense, as the labour progresses. The moment a couple meet their baby for the first time is truly magical. It also varies on the type of care that has been chosen. Homebirths have a completely different atmosphere to that of a hospital birth.

I have a relationship that builds with my VIP clients during the pregnancy. We meet and discuss all their concerns, ideals and what aspects they do and do not want covered for their story. This relationship with my “clients” builds and so by the time the delivery is imminent we are in good contact about how things are progressing. I attend once the couple are into well established labour and attend until an hour or so after the baby is born capturing all those beautiful first cuddles. What do you love the most about birth photography?

I love getting to know a couple as they anticipate the arrival of their little one. I love observing them during the labour as their relationship is such a focus at this point. The beautiful support that the woman’s partner gives is a story in itself. Then the moment their child is welcomed into the world with its first breath.... there truly is nothing else like it. which is your favourite ‘moment’ during a birth? And why?

Without a doubt or hesitation my favourite part is the moment that the baby is born and the parents are taking it all in as they bring their child to them. The wonder, the awe and the

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How do your clients respond when they see the photos for the first time?

relief are all over their faces. If there is a visual for the word “love� it is this very moment. In my experience as a photographer there is no other moment as beautiful as this one.

This is another very special part of the experience for me. I work very hard to put their story together in a beautiful and tasteful way. Part of this is presenting them with a slideshow set to music. We sit together, they often allow me to hold their gorgeous little bundle and we watch the slideshow together. There are tears of joy, holding of hands and exchanges of love between the couple. There is also admiration and thanks shared amongst us all. I believe I will be doing this forever. It has helped me to become a better person just by being involved in the lives of these amazing people who have allowed me to share in such a special time in their lives.

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Elise’s chicken skewers & healthy fried rice INGREDIENTS

• • • • • • • • • • •

600g Free range chicken tenderloins 1x Carrot 1/2 Red capsicum 1/3 Corn 1/3 Peas 3/4 Cup Macro organic brown rice Ketjap Manis Nando's Mild Sweet Chilli Sauce Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri-Peri marinade Coconut oil or olive oil Wooden skewers

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METHOD

• Marinate chicken tenderloins in 1/3 of the bottle of Nando's Lemon & Herb Peri-Peri for a few hours. • Skewer it onto wooden stick (soak in water while marinating to prevent burning) • Cook on BBQ or in hot pan on stove. • Cook the rice as per instructions. • Drain and set aside. • Finely chop red capsicum, carrot and onion and soften in the microwave with some water for 1 minute. • Add the rice back to the saucepan and with the carrot and capsicum and add corn and peas and heat through. • Add Nando's sweet chilli sauce and ketjap manis to the mixture according to your family's taste and preference. Serve the rice and chicken skewers on one plate and have the family members serve themselves. The kids will love this! Recipe by Elise Easdown Elise Easdown is a busy mum of two little ones who loves getting out and about around Australia. She is the owner of the award winning business What’s On 4 Australia, which helps parents find local events, things to do and party services. Elise has been awarded the Emerging Ausmumpreneur Award by Connect2Mums as well as the Practical Parenting Magazine Mumpreneur Award in 2012. What's On 4 originated in the UK and was brought to Australia by Elise in 2011. What's On 4 Australia also holds annual awards recognising excellence in children's activities, activity leaders and party services and is proud to those in small business in this area. You can visit the directories at: www.whatson4littleones.com.au, www.whatson4schoolkids.com.au and www.whatson4kidsparties.com.au and join the online community at www.facebook.com/whatson4littleonesAustralia. For more information about Nando’s PERi-PERi sauces, please visit www.nandosperiperi.com.au www.connect2mums.com.au


Michelle’s satay burgers INGREDIENTS FOR THE BURGERS

• 1/2 jar Nando’s Coconut Curry Cooking Sauce • 500g chicken mince • 5-6 slices day old bread, crumbled into crumbs • 2 large spoons crunchy peanut butter

METHOD

Combine the above and roll into burger size balls – the mixture makes approximately nine burgers. Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes before cooking. Tip - If mixture appears too moist add more bread crumbs.

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INGREDIENTS FOR THE SATAY SAUCE • • • • •

1 brown onion finely diced 1 teaspoon grated garlic ½ jar Nando’s Coconut Curry Cooking Sauce 1 large tablespoon crunchy peanut butter 175ml tin coconut cream or milk

METHOD

• Fry the onion and garlic till the onion is clear, then add all the other ingredients till thickened. • Fry up the burgers, pop on a nice crusty roll with lettuce, tomato, burger and satay sauce. Serve the rice and chicken skewers on one plate and have the family members serve themselves. The kids will love this! Recipe by Michelle Miles Like many mums, after Michelle Miles had her daughter, she became a stay at home mum. She soon began the journey that many women make, trying to start a business from home that could fit around being still home for her daughter. As Michelle says “I have always been a planner, I love searching the net, mixing and matching and pulling everything together. I also love working with colours and images to complement any given theme.” Having just one child she only had the chance to plan one party a year, so by starting her own party extras business, she now has the chance to be involved with many gorgeous events throughout the year. “At Sweetheart Party Extras I can stylishly design and co-ordinate party extras for all of your life events. Bespoke invitations, treat tubes, cupcake toppers, chocolate wrappers and gift bags are my specialties. If you have a theme or colour scheme in mind that I haven’t thought of yet, I am able source the design or change the colour scheme of an existing theme. All my designs can be personalised, after all, everyone should know whose special day you are celebrating.” You can find Sweetheart Party Extras on Facebook, at www.facebook.com/SweetheartPartyExtras For more information about Nando’s PERi-PERi sauces, please visit www.nandosperiperi.com.au www.connect2mums.com.au


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“Have we become conditioned to thinking that we should only love our bodies when it's in "perfect condition"? I just wanted to share with you that I loved my body on the stage, prancing around in a bikini as much as I loved my body sitting butt naked in my girlfriends studio. One thing we must learn to do is love our bodies before, during and after.... Be loyal to your body, love your body, it's the only one you've got.� www.connect2mums.com.au


INSPIRATION

The Body Image movement I recently had a chat with body love advocate Taryn Brumfitt of the Body Image Movement about why we should love our bodies no matter what stage of life we are at and how to love ourselves more. Taryn, tell us how your journey to begin the Body Image movement began:

The Body Image Movement began because I wanted to share with other women the strategies I implemented to overcome my body image issues. Loathing your body is very consuming, I felt like I was in a big hole and everything I did, including the relationships I had with people around me was affected by the mental theatre in my head. It was no way to live, so once I had transformed (eek that word!) from a body hater to a body lover I wanted other women to feel the goodness that I felt.

We love your Before and After photos can you explain the message behind these images?

Oh the before and after photo! What a stir this photo created! I remember distinctly the moment I posted this photo on facebook, it was Sunday night 9.18pm and I was ‘fluffing’ as I call it around on the computer. Within minutes of posting it had hundreds of likes. I knew immediately it was going to get a good response but never did I anticipate what would happen next. Over 3.5 million views, over 50,000 likes 18,000 shares, thousands of comments and an invite on to the TODAY show to discuss the reaction on live TV – woah baby!

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The message behind the photos is very simple, you can love your body no matter what it looks like. Women have been brainwashed into thinking that you can only love your body when it is in “perfect” condition. My message and the message behind the photos is that it doesn’t matter what your body looks like you are capable of loving your body in any condition, overweight, underweight, tall, slim, with or without surgery, hey it doesn’t matter if your pink with purple polka dots – LOVE YOUR BODY at every stage at every age. You’re all about being healthy as opposed to being ‘perfect’ can you explain what that means in real terms?

I think too often the emphasis of being perfect and looking a certain way is valued more than our health. My focus is to be the best I can be with what I have got. I treat and respect my body as a vehicle and not an ornament. I truly don’t give a rats (BEEP) about my wrinkles, cellulite or stretch marks. What I do care about is being here for a long time, and giving my body the best opportunity to do just that comes in the form of prioritising health over beauty. As for perfection, well pfft there is no such thing! How do you achieve being

healthy amongst all of the other demands of your busy family life?

Well it’s not always easy and I don’t always do it well but I do try and make it a priority in my life. Firstly let me say that I think women can be incredibly hard on themselves. We do such an amazing job at juggling one million things at the same time I don’t think we need to give ourselves a hard time about not getting it right 100% of the time. (speaking of juggling, I am currently typing these words out on my laptop, driving on the I15 freeway to Las Vegas whilst directing my husband to take the next exit and telling the 3 kids in the back to stop fighting. The little ones have become accustomed to a DVD player in the back of the car and trips are usually silent and peaceful but this hire car has no DVD player, so it’s on like donkey kong back there) Anyway, where was I? Rant over! Oh that’s right, us women are freaking fabulous! Here are my top 3 tips on how to maintain good health amongst the chaos of a busy family life. Preparation is key. One skill that I learnt from my short stint in body building was preparation and organisation is the key to success when it comes to healthy eating. I usually spend a large chunk of one day in the week, chopping, cutting and preparing food for the following

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week. As I drink a green smoothie every day I like to have all the spinach washed, cut and bagged (snap locked in individual bags) in the freezer. I also make large batches of sandwiches for the kids and freeze them, I pull them out each day as required. I also cut up fruit and leave it in the fridge for a couple of days and use as required. ( snacks, school/kindy lunch boxes) Prioritise your needs first. You know when you’re on a plane and told to in an emergency to put your mask on before you help infants, well same applies for you in your everyday life. Women and mothers in particular need to start putting themselves first, without any guilt. Think about a time

when you’ve been sick and the impact that it has had on your family, huge right? Imagine if you became very sick ( a nasty disease or illness) imagine how your family would cope without you. We need to be very accountable to our health, our roles are so vital. To do this, we need to prioritise time for ourselves, time to engage in physical activity, time to spend in the kitchen making nutritious meals and snacks and time to breathe, meditate or whatever activity you do to relax. Get out of bed just a teeny bit earlier and start your day off on a good note by eating a healthy balanced breakfast. Breakfast is KEY to good health and I don’t just mean grabbing a bowl of

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sugar laden boxed cereal. At least 3 mornings a week I scramble some eggs and enjoy with a slice of toast and avocado. Other mornings it might be oat and chia pancakes and when I am really pushed for time I grab a bowl of homemade muesli. People often say to me “ I don’t have time to make myself eggs for breakfast” , my response to that is this “ It takes no more than 5 minutes, I know this because I have timed it myself, you pop a piece of toast in the toaster, you slice some

avocado, and you scramble a couple of eggs like a mad women on a mission, throw it in the pan, cook and eat. If you can’t invest 5 minutes in your own health to start the day positively then you need to look at your priorities.” Harsh but true. You recently travelled with your kids to Disneyland did you find being ‘healthy’ challenging while travelling, how did you address this?

Yes at times I found it challenging because when we stayed in Anaheim we didn’t have a car which meant that we were a little stranded. I had really good intentions to hit the “Wholefoods” supermarket the day that we arrived in L.A so I could be prepared with lots of fresh and healthy snacks, but it didn’t happen. Instead I had to grab goodness wherever and however I found it. For example the corner 711 supermarket sold bags of raw nuts, I found some green barley grass powder at the supermarket, Disneyland had (overpriced) but delicious fruit and most of the diners that we ate in were very accommodating for our specific dietary needs. ( my sisters daughter has Coeliac Disease) One of the great aspects of eating in America ( as a result of their tipping system) is that you can almost ask for www.connect2mums.com.au


anything on the menu but prepared the way you want it. As an example, for breakfast I would mix and match about 5 different menu items to make up my perfect breakfast. On many occasions I ordered scrambled egg whites with spring onions and avocado, a side of mushrooms strawberries and blueberries. The servers might look at you in a certain way but trust me they don’t care if you ordered pickles and ice-cream, for as long as you tip them well! I think the key to healthy eating is being organised so that you are always armed with healthy options. One thing we did do each day was pack a little backpack of healthy foods (fruit, nuts and muesli bars) and lots of water. At least then we weren’t always at the mercy of the sugar filled, colourful and quite often scary treats that were on offer - EVERYWHERE we looked! ( or so it seemed!) What tips do you have for Mums wanting to start living a more healthy lifestyle?

The first thing I want Mums to know is that you have the power to change your life. If there is an aspect of your life that you are not happy about, then you CAN do something about it. (and by golly I don’t want to alarm you but NOW is the time to do it, life is tick tick ticking away!) Here is an activity that you can do

with yourself. (you might feel a little loopy doing it at first but trust me, it can be a very powerful tool to tap into). So find some quiet time and a cuppa and have a conversation with yourself. If you are not where you want to be in terms of your wellness, lifestyle and health, ask yourself why and what it is that’s missing. (for example, it might be exercise, or time to yourself) From there you need to “road map” the steps you need to take to get to your goal. Don’t overcomplicate it, keep it really simple. On the subject of goal setting and achieving outcomes, as important as it is to have a detailed step by step plan it is as crucial to know where and how you might become unstuck along the way. Work out your pressure points, explore parts of the plan that are a little weak and ensure there is always good support and a back up strategy. Ok so you can probably tell I am big fan of goal setting and it is something I LOVE to talk about in my presentations and workshops but I know you are after some real life practical ways to a healthier lifestyle, so in no particular order here is a bunch of my favourite tips: Drink green smoothies ( check out my favourite recipe on the BIM website) Eat protein for breakfast and

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throughout the day. Make time for yourself, don’t be a martyr, you DESERVE it! Have a good laugh - don’t take life too seriously, we are only here for such a short time, so let go and enjoy the ride. Get 8 hours sleep a night. (Pfft yeah right! No I am serious, do try! I am constantly working on this one!) Move that body - exercise regularly. Eat Clean - ditch the processed foods. Hydrate your body by drinking lots of water. Be kind to yourself. You are what you are, you have what you have, now go and be the best version of yourself that you can be! What tips do you have for other mums who are struggling with their self-image?

10 tips for a positive body image, click here for more details http:// bodyimagemovement.com.au/ top-10-body-lovin-tips/ You’ve recently released an ebook on body image and self love, what can we expect from this guide?

Quite simply the Body Lovin’ Guide is a booked filled with helpful hints on learning to love your body from the inside out. I put together the ebook because I wanted to provide a “quick and easy to read guide” for all the people that wrote to me, called me and messaged me saying “ I want to love my body but I don’t know how!” I wanted to attack the body image issue with a multi disciplinary approach, the mind and the body, so I invited Dr Emma Johnston – Clinical Psychologist and Sonia Osborne – Food and Nutrition Coach to contribute to the book. The guide is 50 pages long, it’s easy to read, (it’s pretty with lots of photos) and it’s had an overwhelmingly positive response from the women that have purchased it. Some women have written to me and said the book was life changing. (That made my heart swell!) With the purchase of the Body Lovin’ Guide (BLG) you are given access to a private Facebook group called the BLG community. This is a safe, friendly and supportive space where women can share their goals, discuss

The first thing I want to say to Mums is that you are not alone and STOP being so hard on yourselves and START being kind to yourself. We live in a world that constantly tells us that we aren’t good enough, that we should look a certain way, that happiness comes from looking like a supermodel, that ageing is offensive and so on and so on. It comes as no surprise to me that so many women struggle with their body image given the pressures that society, media and advertising put us under. On the Body Image Movement website I have prepared my top www.connect2mums.com.au


their issues, share recipes and best of all ( said with a cheeky smile) get support and advice from Emma, Sonia and myself. I LOVE the community we are building and the positive stories that are shared amongst the group are inspiring. The women in the BLG community are from all over the world, which makes it’s all the more interesting.

the website you can read about My Journey, from Bright Lights and Porno Shoes to Suppository’s and Sanitary Pads - there’s never a dull moment! Where can we find out more about you and your story? Website? I ask and encourage all of you to help me in this movement because I can’t do it alone and god only knows a movement is what women of the world need right now. (and especially our daughters) Please LIKE the Facebook You can find out more about my story page, sign up to the movement on by visiting the Body Image Movement the website, purchase the Body Lovin’ website and keep up to date with the Guide, be kind to yourselves and love movement through Facebook. On your body...starting right....NOW! www.connect2mums.com.au


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INSPIRATION

Helping kids with anxiety I recently had a chat with Award-winning children’s book author Nicky Johnston of Happy Hero to find out more about anxiety in children and how parents can help to support their children through this. Peace: Tell us about yourself and your business?

Nicky: I am a busy mum to four boys, an educator, an artist, a speaker and a children’s book author and illustrator. My business ‘Happy Hero’ has a vision of providing support and education to those who are touched by a ‘little worrier’. Anxiety in children is a lot more common that we realise, with 14% of Australian children experiencing anxiety, depression and behavioural problems with only one in four receiving professional help.

professionals raising awareness of mental health issues in children. The hardest thing for parents dealing with a ‘little worrier’ is the sense of isolation and lack of available support – this is where Happy Hero steps in. Peace: What inspired you to write your first book?

Nicky: My eldest son was just five years old when he was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. When I went in search of some children’s books to help him understand what he was experiencing, I was surprised as to how few there were. So, I wrote Through Happy Hero, I write and and illustrated one just for him. “Go illustrate children’s books, produce Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” was resources and provide valuable released in 2008, “Happythoughts are information that has touched the lives Everywhere...” in 2009 and in August of thousands of children. I work with this year “Actually, I Can” will be parents, teachers and mental health launched. www.connect2mums.com.au


Peace: What theme does each of your books cover?

Nicky: My children’s books demonstrate resilience building, dealing with worry thoughts and learning strategies to help control and manage them. The stories and illustrations evoke the emotions felt by children, making identification, understanding and empathy very easy. “Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” Bayden is an intelligent, confident and courageous boy. Yet he is often overwhelmed by his worry thoughts. His anxiety makes his life quite unbearable at times. See how Bayden discovers his superpowers, takes control and is able to live free and happy. “Happythoughts are Everywhere...” These days, Bayden is a happy and confident boy. There was a time, not long ago when Bayden worried about everything, all of the time. That was, until he discovered the power of Happythoughts. “Actually, I Can” – Connor wishes he was confident, adventurous and brave, just like his best friend Amelia. She wants him to worry less and laugh more. See how, by going on an adventure, Connor discovers that he actually can.

“Go Away, Mr Worrythoughts!” has also been adapted into a 45 minute professional theatrical production that tours primary schools and is currently in its third year of performing. Literature and the arts are innovative ways to help educate children about the importance of building self-esteem and resilience and have proven to have had valuable impact. Peace: Anxiety in children is often undetected what are symptoms parents should look out for?

Nicky: When suffering anxiety, children may show signs of unhappiness, being on edge, upset/ crying, fearful, quiet or clingy. They can have physical symptoms such as a tummy ache, head ache, loss of appetite and exhaustion. Sometimes these feelings result in misbehaving,

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lashing out, becoming angry or violent, frustrated or simply deflated. It is often very difficult for children to verbalise WHY they are behaving or feeling this way, because they don’t understand it themselves. A general level of anxiety is very common in young children, and quite necessary, as it is a primitive response borne from fear or danger. For young children being left alone in new or strange places, changes in routine or fear of making mistakes can evoke a level of anxiety. It is when the ‘worry thoughts’ become overruling, impacting day to day activities, sleep routines and appetite that it can become a problem. While most children build on their experiences

of dealing with anxiety successfully, there are some children who need assistance in learning these strategies. Peace: If your child is dealing with anxiety how can a parent help?

Nicky: No matter how trivial or illogical a ‘worry thought’ may seem, the feelings a child experiences are very real, both physically and emotionally. Catastrophying a situation can happen in just a few seconds. Example: “What if mum is late?” “She may have had a car accident.” “She may have died”. The feelings associated with these thoughts are as if it has really happened.

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Engage open discussions with your child, trying to find out what it is they are feeling (sore tummy, tight throat, racing heart, sweating) building a vocab that they can use is very important here. Keep a record of the feelings, then work backwards to see if you can identify the thoughts that triggered the feelings. Thoughts create feelings, so by identifying the thought, you can help your child to re-link the feeling reaction, focussing on the facts rather than the catastrophe.

anxiety. It is heartbreaking to see them so worried about everything, unable to enjoy the fun and freedom that childhood brings. Seeing a professional not only helps your child (through their strategies and tasks) but also provides a support for parents. We are very good at creating our own anxiety about our parenting and often are left feeling helpless. Professional help can also give parents strategies to help support their children.

Peace: When should a parent seek professional help?

Peace: Can children be affected by a parent's level of anxiety? How caN parents deal with this?

Nicky: Today with access to Mental Health Plans via your GP (Medicare can help subsidise registered private psychologists) professional help is not difficult to access. I believe that early intervention with any issue or illness allows for the best outcome. If your child is showing signs of anxiety for longer than 1-2 months or if the ‘melt downs’ are escalating during this time. I encourage parents to seek professional help. As a parent, if your gut is telling you something isn’t right – trust it. I did. Peace: How can a professional make a difference?

Nicky: It is very difficult watching a young child suffer the effects of

Nicky: “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them” ~ James Baldwin The most influential way to education children is to show them. Children learn very quickly how to react to situations, make sure what you teach them is how you would like them to be. Show your child how to see the positive in day to day circumstances. We often can fall into the habitual trap of only seeing the negative, and this is mimicked by children. In times of anxiety or stress, demonstrate deep breathing techniques, taking 5 mins

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to calm down, or talking out loud to your thoughts, share with them your mistakes and how you recover from them, that there is life after a mistake. Share with your child your list of happy thoughts, compare it to theirs. It really works. Peace: Can changes in the home environment, such as moving house, a new baby, loss of a loved one etc 'bring on' anxiety in children? How can parents help children to adapt to change?

Nicky: Change can be trigger of anxiety for anyone, whether child or adult. It is the fear of the unknown, in most cases, that creates the anxious thoughts and feelings, so where possible talk about the pending change. Children are naturally very resilient. Being given an opportunity to be involved and aware of any pending change is comforting for them, empowering them with a sense of control. There are lots of fantastic children’s books available that focus on a range of topics such as death of a pet, moving house, new baby, the circle of life and natural disasters. They make great conversation starters and children love hearing about other children in similar situations.

enabling children to learn helpful ways to manage their worry thoughts, keep them under control to live happy and free. I love being able to live the vision of Happy Hero ~ helping little worriers find happiness. Details: Website: www.nickyjohnston.com.au Facebook: www.facebook.com/ GoAwayMrWorrythoughts Twitter: www.twitter.com/_nickyjohnston YouTube: www.youtube.com./happyherobooks

Despite the rising figures of anxiety in children, the awareness and proactive intervention by parents and teachers is www.connect2mums.com.au


BRINGING BACK BALANCE

Celebrating

Motherhood

We asked real mums how they balance motherhood and life “Motherhood is both rewarding and challenging. We have unconditional love for each other and always will. My best tip for balancing motherhood and life is take time out for yourself to refresh and recharge. Doing this will mean you will have more patience, a better outlook and most important of all be a better mother.” Lisa Hayes, All in All party boxes

Photgraphy by Sarah Starling Photography

“Motherhood is the realization that you‘re part of an elite club that is tremendously challenging, exciting and rewarding all at the same time. Have realistic expectations of yourself, be proud of who you are and everything you do as a mother. No one said being a mum would be easy but they did say it will always be worth it.” Dana Borschman, Sweet Imprint - Personalised baby blankets and towels

www.ettitude.com.au


“Being a Mummy is a fleeting moment in our lives. All too soon they are grown up and gone and we are left pining for cuddles, eskimo kisses, vegemite sandwiches smooshed into the lounge, muddy boots on the carpet and hide-and-seek giggles down the hallway. It is too short! So, stuff the housework and bugger the ironing. I am going to live my motherhood moment like it will be gone tomorrow because I don’t want to miss it,” Bess Gairns, Cotton Wife - Blogging & Social Media Photography by Wayne Pratt, Goondiwindi

“Simplify...separating work from home & spending quality time with our kids, friends & family. The more we can live with intention and a greater focus to ‘de-clutter’ our lives, the more balance will be restored.” Bec Hillig, Beach Bellies

“Be in the MOMENT. Make specific times to be involved in play, go for a walk or read books with your children, and TURN OFF THE PHONE!. Then make times specifically for work schedule, your heart then is not torn in two with trying to address both simultaneously.” Nicola Davis, Bike n Bean (Bike shop & coffee bar) Photography by Jo Upton Photography

INNOVATIVE & MODERN KIDS PRODUCTS Find us on Facebook www.littlebubbalish.com.au 0422 230 402

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BRINGING BACK BALANCE

Celebrating

Motherhood

We asked real mums how they balance motherhood and life “My children have taught me to enjoy life in a way that I never would have experienced. I will jump in leaves, roll in the dirt and maybe even put a worm on a hook for my boys, and I will do it all with a smile on my face,” Natrice Grosvenor, MiniMohs Online Marketplace

Photography by Nicole Barralet Photography

“Motherhood is an ever evolving ride of discovery, challenge, joy, frustration, liberation, transformation ... and making snacks. Accept that there is no such thing as achieving perfect balance, forget it that’s not what life is about! Decide what level of chaos is manageable for you and your family, and work within that. Follow your heart always & motherhood will adapt.” Genevieve Dugard, Tinyfolk

Photography by Mikey Pozarik

Nesting Instincts

nestinginstincts.com.au

Your baby...Your Way Your Baby Checklist....Your Way We help you create your checklist to suit your needs

Making your journey special and easy Information, Checklist & Products Need Help? We provide information, links to services and consultancy

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“Stay focused, listen to your children and take time to smell the roses. Above all – be present and passionately love whatever you are doing,” Sacha Maujean, My Gypsy Child Photography by Renee Adams

“Be flexible, some days you will have to ignore the dirty floors & dishes or cancel plans to spend time with a sick baby or bored toddler don't beat yourself up that your house is not perfect because really, what does perfect mean?” Kristy Karhula, Rock A Buy Baby Reviews

Photography by Kelsea K Photography

“We aim to teach our children in life, and all about this world we live in, yet I find each day she teaches me something new and I am able to see life through her eyes - she teaches me to enjoy the simple things. Motherhood is challenging, wondrous, scary at times, beautiful and the most rewarding thing I have ever done.” Bridget Harris, ittybittyindi designs

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Ava 3pc Change Table Set, $49.95 www.mor-stor.com.au

what’s hot! ‘Peek-a-Boo’ Maternity Tee $59.95 www.bubsnbumps.com.au

2 in 1 Pregnancy & Breastfeeding Jumper $74.95 www.facebook.com/tintactivewear or email tintactivewear@gmail.com

Smilefile Storage Kits keep your child’s memories, keepsakes and achievements protected and all in one place. ‘PREGNANCY TO PRE-SCHOOL KIT’ $39.95 ‘PRE-SCHOOL TO YEAR 12 KIT’ $89.90 www.smilefile.com.au

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Penny pendant handstamped silver $250 www.koolamandesigns.com.au


Little Reader Deluxe Complete Set $249, Basic $199 www.brainychild.com.au

Post Pregnancy Recovery Belly Wrap www.vespaandtheladybird.com.au Classic $49.95 & Plush $62.95 Rock-a-Thigh Baby Socks Thigh High Socks that won’t fall down! Sizes birth to 8yrs in a range of colours $16 www.bubbee.com.au The Steven Tree (Gold Fill) $115 www.indileedesigns.com.au

BabyPlus Prental Education System $199 www.brainychild.com.au ALL 3Sprouts Range up to 30% Off RRP www.ruggabub.com.au

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Health and Weight loss starter pack $72 www.healthymummy.com.au

ErgoPouch cocoon swaddle $29.95 www.ergopouch.com.au

what’s hot! Pinkie’s Booby Beads $32.00 www.pinkymckay.com

Siena breastfeeding nightie $39.95 www.mamaybebe.com.au

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Attipas Rainbow baby shoes $29.95 www.attipas.com.au

Sleepy wings $29.95 www.sleepywings.com.au

Ergobaby Sport carrier $159 www.babesinarms.com.au

Pinkie’s Booby Bikkies $24.95 www.boobiebikkies.com.au

Roma maternity and breastfeeding dress $49.95 www.mamaybebe.com.au

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Nature’s Care Baby Paw Paw Shampoo & Body Wash (500ml) Price $9.66 Nature’s Care Baby Paw Paw Balm (100g) Price $7.51 Available exclusively at Woolworths www.pawpawaustralia.com.au

Teesuit $29.95 www.teesuit.com

what’s hot! Village - fitted cot sheet set $79.95 www.mockingbirdstreet.com

Pregfit ‘yoga for two’ racerback tee $59.95 www.pregfit.com.au

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Mum to be basket $137.00 www.homegrowngifts.com.au

Bibska Bib $13.50 www.kidsonabington.com.au

Love Boat Tankini by Pez D’Or $115.00 www.aquamaternity.com.au

Platypus Australia Baby Sunset long sleeved rashie & matching pants $49.95 www.platypusaustralia.com

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Adoorabear, safety bear $35.00 www.adoorabear.com.au

what’s hot! Pregnancy yoga pants $89.95 www.pregfit.com.au

Novelty dummy $8.95 www.crazycreaturesdesigns.com.au

Scoop neck top with 3/4 sleeves $89.95 www.plusmaternity.com.au

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Little Cupids 3D prenatal figurine $299 www.cogus.com.au

Deluxe Maternity Hospital Bag $55 www.bagsofbliss.com.au

The Britax BOB Motion Stroller RRP $499 visit www.britax.com.au/where-to-buy for stockist details

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INSPIRATION

Rocking the internet airwaves

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I recently went for coffee with the gorgeous Rachel Cooper founder of www.FunkyKidsRadio.com.au and found all about the exciting and blossoming world of internet radio, the children’s music industry and the importance of having a variety of age-appropriate music and content for children to listen to. Tell us about yourself and your business? We’re all about healthy radio for kids 24/7. Playing music, stories and programmes that provide ‘screen-free’ entertainment in an age-appropriate environment.

We stream via the internet as that was the most cost-effective and accessible way we could launch the station. In the early days I did explore terrestrial licences (AM/FM) but they were just out of reach. With the recent growth of internet radio, hand-held devices and mobile connectivity I could bring the idea to life. We have found one of the best marketing activities is to attend family events. This is a great win-win as we provide music and atmosphere and energy to an event (at no cost to them) and it is fabulous exposure for us as families get the opportunity to hear us and learn about us.

What inspired you to start your business?

When I had my first child (almost 12 years ago) I had this idea for a radio station for families and kids. I loved playing music to my daughter and seeing her response, but as a single parent (at

the time) I didn’t have the resources to get more than a couple of CD’s. While we listened to a lot of different radio stations (especially in the car) it didn’t have quite the same effect on her as kids music – and there were tracks played and content on commercial radio that I really didn’t want her to hear.

Tell us about the sort of music and interviews/shows we can expect?

Our programming is a diverse mix!! We like to blend kids music (contemporary, classic and indie) with age-appropriate adult music and also a good inclusion of multi-cultural music. The great thing about kids music is the songs are generally short! So you hear a lot and a wide variety in a short time.

We have some great regular programmes too:

Tackle Nappy: Two Dads talking about their experiences as Dads which is a great insight and totally fun. Primary Perspectives: Produced by SBN (The School Broadcast Network) and a group of primary school students with an environmental and humanitarian focus.

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Traffic Jam Trax: Our regular interview programme - we talk in-depth to guests about the music they love and how it touches their lives. We are also planning a programme with a celebrity nanny all about general parenting with some fab interviews. Watch this space! Do you interview celebrities? who are some of the well known people you’ve talked to on the show?

We’ve talked to some amazing people and they love programming their own music on Traffic Jam Trax. Our very first guest was Cate McQuillen from Dirt Girl World and we have also talked to Anthony and Emma from the Wiggles, Kutcha Edwards, Andy Griffiths, Peter Combe and Michael Grose.

downloads are small. (listening for 2 hours you will use about .0576 MB) What feedback/success stories have you received from parents/young listeners?

We have built a lovely global audience and love it when we hear from them. Funnily the app has an “email us” button and I get quite a few emails with “ykghhhh sghddd”. I think one of the most beautiful facebook posts was “My son 3.5 year old son loves the stories that you play, he drops everything and runs over to the radio to listen!” What do you love about your business?

The great thing about kids’ music is that it is all really positive – so anytime I’m in need of a boost I have an extra listen!! I’ve also really loved the conversations I’ve had with artists – their depth How can we tune in? of creativity, connection with If at home, you can log on to www. music and commitment to their funkykidsradio.com.au and click audiences is super inspiring. “listen now” If you’re out and about download our free android and iOS app’s and you can stream anywhere you have 3G or 4G connectivity. We stream at 32 Kbps so the

Tell us about your upcoming pozible campaign & how we can support Funky Kids Radio

The purpose of the Pozible crowd-funding campaign is to provide an injection of funds

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and support. Our current way of operating (basically totally supported by us) is not sustainable and we can’t continue to stream without this support. A major cost is an upgraded APRA licence which allows us to earn income and getting some of the basic business infrastructure in place The great thing about the Pozible

campaign is that as rewards for pledging support we can offer subscription packages to listeners and advertising packages to businesses. So, while supporting “healthy radio for kids” businesses can also get frequency of message in a growing medium. The link to support us is: http://pozible.com/funkykidsradio

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www.connect2mums.com.au


INSPIRATION

A passion for fashion

I recently caught up with designer Ann Martin of Audrey Lane and we spoke about fashion, life, business and motherhood and making it all work. Ann, tell us about yourself and your business

I am a dress designer living in Brisbane with over 25 years of professional experience in the clothing industry. I semi-retired a few years ago and initially concentrated on painting and art which I enjoyed immensely. I started making some pretty girls’ dresses for a daughter of a good friend and realised I could put my passion and skill to good use and sell them online. That’s when I started my business venture, 1 Puddle Lane. That was about three years ago. Last year I took a somewhat different focus when I started making custom dresses for the ladies in my online business group. This was a great success and I began selling ladies’ dresses online under my new label Audrey Lane. I really enjoy making beautiful dresses for ladies who can’t seem to find anything that fits. It’s great to see them embrace their shapes and feel good about themselves. Ladies can simply visit my Audrey Lane website (or go to my Facebook page) choose colours, fabric and style of dress and within a few weeks they have the Postie delivering them a lovely surprise.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

I love seeing ladies well-dressed and feeling good about themselves no matter what age they are or what shape they have. I feel so fortunate that I can design and make these beautiful dresses. It all started when I couldn’t find a dress that I loved. I eventually found online a particular style that really appealed to me and I decided to try it out. Of course the rest is history. I love this style of dress. It makes me feel so comfortable and feminine. I love mixing and matching colours and trying out new designs. The name Audrey Lane was inspired by the name of my successful little girls’ dresses business, 1 Puddle Lane, as well as the very stylish and gorgeous actress Audrey Hepburn. Her look and grace inspires me. About one and a half years ago, I was in Paris for the first time with my husband. I loved the way the Parisian ladies dressed and held themselves and the fabrics they wore. I remember making many rough sketches of dress designs I saw to inspire me for my new creations when I returned home.

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How do you balance running your business and being with your family?

Getting the right balance when you are running your own business is not easy but is very important. I am in the fortunate situation where both my children have grown up and only one is left at home. He is soon to leave to go overseas for a year. Both my elderly parents are still alive and well and living not too far away. They are starting to need more attention and care from me. It is important to find a way that works for you so that you can switch off from work when you are with the family but also switch off from the family dramas when you have a lot of orders to get finished. When you are passionate about your work, like I am, there is a danger that you will overdo the work side of life. I have to consciously take enough time out for my family as well as for myself. My husband gently reminds me to reassess my priorities if the balance appears to be getting out of whack.

What advice do you have for other Mums thinking about starting a business?

Go for it especially if you are passionate about what you want to sell. Being passionate is half the battle. Don’t get discouraged and avoid comparing yourself with other businesses. You are unique and you need to let yourself and your uniqueness show through in what you are offering. I found it helpful when I joined an online business group. You soon discover that others, even those with the seemingly more successful businesses, have similar concerns and fears. It helps to reflect on where you want your business to go. I’ve decided I would prefer my business to stay small so that I can focus on doing what I love, namely designing, cutting and creating. Stay open to new opportunities. I had no grand plan to progress from making beautiful little girls’ dresses to stylish ladies’ dresses. It just happened. And finally, have fun. When it is no longer fun then it is definitely time to reassess your situation and then be prepared to make changes.

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www.connect2mums.com.au


www.connect2mums.com.au


INSPIRATION

my fairytale life

I recently caught up with Lesley Dewar founder of Stories My Nana Tells, http://storiesmynanatells.com and found out how she’s created an online sensation through the simple art of story telling, overcome her struggle with cancer and designed a life she loves. Tell us about yourself and your business?

I have recently sold my financial planning practice and started Stories My Nana Tells – which was always going to be my next career. I teach children how to find WOW moments in life; I write stories for children who are between seven and twelve years of age and every story has a WOW moment – that something which will have the child turn to a parent and say “Wow, I didn’t know that!”

rocky deserts; went white water rafting in Bali and swimming with dolphins in Hawaii. This Nana tells very engaging stories to entertain the whole family: travel, gardening, history, science, the internet and more. In the past, I have been a financial planner, a car salesman, a book-keeper, a secretary, a single mum and an entrepreneur.

Stories My Nana Tells is an online Membership site, where our Members While I might be a grandmother, I get access to a range of free stories still find lots of wonder in the world and to our premium stories, for which and I share this through my stories. I they pay a small subscription fee. am an adventurous grandmother who (it can be paid annually or monthly, loves to travel, explore and see new through PayPal) Each story is around and exciting things. I have been bungy 2,500 words, thoroughly researched jumping in New Zealand; flown in a and finished off with between 7 and helicopter across icy mountains and 12 questions to encourage young www.connect2mums.com.au


and we upload a new story every two weeks. What inspired you to start your business?

readers to interact with the story. This is especially important for parents, because it gives them the opportunity to see how well their child or children comprehend what they are reading and improves literacy skills as well as giving the kids something new and interesting to learn and enjoy. We have wonderful photographs and illustrations to make them even more interesting – and we guarantee they will spark the curiosity of your children and grandchildren in nature, the environment and the world around them. We carefully choose photographs to enhance the story and add to its appeal. If there is a reliable online source, we also include direct links to other information on the internet, that help add to the experience of our readers. Stories My Nana Tells is an online subscriber service, which costs less than $100 a year or $9.90 per month

I have been a published writer for many years and I always knew that, when I finished working in the corporate world and as a financial planner (which was my career for 26 years), I would start a new career as a writer of children’s stories. The stories we read as children stay with us, all our lives. Especially when we get to be 7 or 8 and into our Pre-Teens. Even as adults, we remember those favourite stories we heard and we read in our early years. They help form our view of how the world is; how the world should or might be and where we fit into it. Sitting and reading a story with your child is a wonderful gift and I created Stories My Nana Tells to help parents and children to embark on an amazing adventure together all the while strengthening family bonds and igniting your child’s imagination and love of reading. Finding good reading material for your child can be difficult. When you are looking for engaging stories, of the right length and in a format that allows flexibility for busy lifestyles, it is a challenge for many parents and grandparents.

When writing Stories My Nana Tells, www.connect2mums.com.au


one thing is paramount. ” The stories must be memorable. Every story has a moment that will have your child say ‘wow, I didn’t know that!’ ” she said. ”That’s why we write them. So you can share another “wow” moment with your child when they say “I didn’t know that!”“

red tailed cockatoos one afternoon. I saw the fathers doing something that had previously not been recognised by bird “experts” and at first I was told I was wrong. But, it turned out my observations were accurate. Australian cockatoos are wonderful birds, gravely endangered and the more our children learn about them, the better chance they have of continuing to fly in our bush. Or maybe, my favourite story would be “Hey, Dude – Who Moved My Gumnut?” – which is all about seeds, how different they are and how important they are in the food cycle. There are lots of great photographs, too, of the plants You've recently been diagnosed with cancer how has Stories My Nana Tells helped you through this time?

Which one is your favourite story so far?

While I was going through my surgery and my chemotherapy, I was frankly too sick to write. I refunded annual subscribers, because I wasn’t sure at the beginning if I would be able to continue the business. Knowing I could come back and restart my business gave me something very positive in my life to kick start me, at the right time.

WOW! That is a hard question – because all these stories are my babies. If I had to choose a favourite, I think it would be “He Looks Just Like Elvis”. Now, I am clear of cancer, it is very It is the first premium (paid) story exciting to be rebuilding the business our members get and it is the story of and completely revising the website. me watching three families of three www.connect2mums.com.au


We have set up a new member’s group on Facebook where we can build a community of readers, to chat about the different stories and get feedback, and our Facebook fan page is growing steadily. All the time I was going through my cancer treatment, I kept my Facebook page active and interesting, because I knew I would be back! Stories My Nana Tells is a web-based business, and it means I can indulge my love of the internet to my heart’s content – not that I don’t find it frustrating, sometimes. Have you found cancer has changed the way you see life now? How?

Although I think the cancer hasn’t changed me, of course it is a time when

you reevaluate some aspects of your life and decide on whether you have the right priorities. During the whole time, I was house-sitting for my son and his wife who were on an overseas holiday and I was determined I would not ask them to come home. To be honest, I haven’t let having cancer change the way I see life. I have always been a very positive, upbeat person; I never doubted I would survive and be well; I had a wonderful support group through my Facebook friends and I was careful not to let the cancer become me. I was still me – just, temporarily with cancer. I still get cross with some of the rubbish that is posted on the Internet about how to cure cancer (sheesh) and I certainly chose traditional treatment over smoking marijuana, drinking lemon juice or trying to change my

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body’s pH by drinking bi-carb soda. I had to tell one or two people to stop introducing me to faith healers, too. I have been asked lots of times to “blog” about my cancer and surviving it – so I wrote a response that is my one and only “blog” about how cancer has affected me. http:// storiesmynanatells.com/characters/ fabulous-survivor/ and shared it on Facebook. About half way through, I was on a panel talking to Year 12 girls about choosing a career and in writing up my notes for that, I wrote a blog post called “Getting My Mojo Back”. Reviewing some of my career highlights helped strengthen me, and reinforce my personal belief that I could and would survive the cancer and get back to work. http:// storiesmynanatells.com/characters/ gettingmymojoback/ What strategies do you use to keep yourself positive in challenging times?

showing and expressing gratitude. Every day! We have much for which to be grateful and if we show we are grateful, it helps keep a personal sense of being humble within your success. I love doing things on an impromptu basis – life is for living, having fun, being frivolous and being brave. Buy a new CD; go to the movies; stop work and watch some ants doing theirs; unfriend the person on Facebook who never has a positive thing to say about their lives. Surround yourself with people who are happy, strong and generous. Say “thank you” often. Smile a lot. Even if it is only at yourself. Remember something really silly you have done and laugh about it. Share it with a friend, and laugh together. Pray. It works and it helps. If you find your mind is straying to negative thoughts, or you are beating yourself up over something that cannot be undone because it is in the past, you MUST deliberately stop those thoughts; let them go and think of positive things that are happening NOW. Live in the present.

I am a great believer in the abundance principle – there is plenty for all and Be active – physically active. we can share what we have, because Housework and walking are two we will always have enough. Over the productive ways to be active and past few months, I have been more productive. Housework has to be open in expressing that, even though done. Walking gives you time to it has been my personal mantra for think, reflect and observe the world a long time. I am very strong on www.connect2mums.com.au


BRINGING BACK BALANCE

Where are you in your circle?

Lyndal Edwards ponders whether motherhood balance is ever really achievable

Sometimes I feel like modern working mothers the world over are simultaneously searching for the holy grail of motherhood – WORK/ LIFE BALANCE! It’s almost a Nirvana, a place of perfection, where all feels good and right and – well – balanced. As a self-confessed recovering Virgo, control freaking working mother of two I’ve learnt the (very) hard way that there’s a huge difference between balance on paper and real life balance amidst the chaos that is motherhood. Just when you feel you have it all ‘under control’: school is scheduled, kids are sleeping, toilet training is over, working is kind of working out, the universe seems to pull that proverbial rug out from underneath you and BAM – chaos reigns. I’ve written up as many plans, schedules and do lists as one mother can muster. And what I’ve

discovered is that the tighter I hold the reigns on my life, the more likely I am to drop the balls I’m juggling. And when you’re trying that hard to maintain the balance and keep all those balls in the air – money, kids, relationships, housework, work work, friendships, health – it’s bloody exhausting. Just yesterday I ran into a school mum in the supermarket – a stay-at-home mum who seems unconditionally devoted to her three beautiful girls. I asked her that question: ‘How are you?’Her response was refreshingly frank: ‘I have no life! I run around for my kids constantly and it’s exhausting. I thought by now (one’s in high school), things would get simpler, easier, but they haven’t! I guess it’ll get better one day.’ I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard mothers say that ‘one day’ this’ll get easier or better or simpler. And I’ve watched so

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many women struggle – as I’ve done – with the quest to find enough time in the day and week to meet everyone else’s needs and do all there is to do! And I’ve spoken to women whose kids have left home and, guess what, they’re still too busy to take time out for themselves! And that is THE GREAT IMBALANCE. In the circle of our lives, with the centre being the most important, significant and demanding of our love, attention and time, the order is usually: kids (middle), followed (in no particular order) by hubby or partner, work/ business, life and money management, housework, life friendships, school commitments, social commitments, event planning (Xmas, birthdays, etc), sex???

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years. Then, in the spirit of speaking my truth and helping you find yours, I The point is that somewhere – usually chose this one message: furthest from the centre – is YOU! And yet when you think about it, you Find where you are in your circle of life right now. Do whatever you can are the centre of the universe, for to move yourself to its centre more your family, your community, your friends, your business. But it’s hard a often, until you feel that’s where you belong and that you have a right to mother to: (a) see that as truth; and be there! And each time you feel ‘out (b) treat yourself as royalty rather of balance’, frazzled, overwhelmed than a servant. by all you have to do, turn the focus Now that might all sound really harsh back towards you! and, to be honest, when I first started Lyndal Edwards is a motherhood thinking about this article, my head freedom writer and founder of began to fill with all the work/life balance ‘tips’ I’ve been given over the www.mumSanctuary.com HAVE YOU TRIED THAT CRAZY WRAP THING?

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Connect2mums winter 2013  

In this issue we chat with mums about finding the balance between motherhood and life and meet body image advocate Taryn Brumfit, author Nic...

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