All 3 major things in my life have changed since then.
I now have 2 gorgeous kids who are one and three years old respectively, my mum isn’t here anymore and sadly and more recently my husband and I have separated. They are some pretty substantial and ground-breaking changes. And I am now at a complete point in my life where I am wondering what does my future look like, and where is my life is going to go….???
It’s scary, it’s exciting, it makes me nervous, it makes me incredibly sad….I’ve got lots of reading to do, lots of well meaning friends and a beautiful family around me, really I am very blessed. The next step is…how? Where…what?
I really feel the need for a creative outlet, and so as I already have this blog, I thought I may use it as a space to write about some of my adventures/ trials and tribulations of life as a ‘mother’ in need of ‘nurture’ and as I nurture myself, my children and bring some new awareness and awakening to what is my new life, I hope to gain some insights that may help you and me along the way. Thanks for reading.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted properly or with any regularity here…the past 3 years have seen me lose my mum, become a mum twice over, and adjust to all that in between raising two kids and supporting my husband and finishing off my Institute of Integrative Nutrition Course. I must confess there hasn’t been a lot of time to ‘Nurture’ this Mother in between the chaos and fun that is life! I first started writing this blog as I became fascinated with health and wellness and wanted to understand what really made us sick. And what I could do to support my mum as she was facing a tough cancer battle. It helped plant the seed for so much of my own personal discovery into health and wellness, and what I could do to really thrive and feel great, not just survive. It seems everyone is busy, everyone is ‘time-poor’ and although we are working harder than ever we are sicker than ever and more exhausted than ever. Dr Libby (drlibby.com) has been a long time mentor for me and it doesn’t surprise me that her game-changing book “Rushing Women’s Syndrome” still dominates shelf space. I’m blown away in hind-sight of how relevant it was of me to name this blog Mother Nurture and the focus that I now want to write about is exactly that, nurturing the mother. It’s going to be a goal to post two blogs per month on topics that seem relevant to me at the time, as well as some follow ups on previous articles that I now find more relevant than ever. Like most busy Mum’s I don’t have a lot of spare time but I hope you can find some ‘gold’ in some of the posts on here, and let me know of any feedback, good or bad!
I’ve recently become a mum for the second time, and I can honestly say with all my heart I have never been happier in my life. Sure there are some things that I wish were different in my world, the main one being that I wish my mum was here to hold my beautiful new baby girl, and to see my gorgeous little boy and how wonderful these children are, but another part of me knows that she IS with me every moment, and that the reason they are so wonderful is because of her influence. Over me as child and teaching me how to mother, and now as her spirit guides me on how to nurture my gorgeous babies. As I look at my two sleeping children, my 20 month toddler on the monitor as he has his day time nap, and my new baby girl asleep in her bassinet I have to pinch myself at how lucky I am. Some say you make your own luck, maybe you do, but I feel so grateful for this gift that is motherhood. There is so much written about how hard it is, and motherhood itself has become such a competitive sport that there is always a new ‘way’ to parent. But I wanted to take the time to remind myself how incredibly wonderful it is and how incredibly happy my children make me. I realise it is not everyone that feels this and it is not everyone who finds it so ‘easy’ so to speak…for me it comes naturally. I said to my husband the other day, there are not many things in life I am good at, but when it comes to being a mum I find that when I follow my instincts it seems so natural. The happiest of things are the simplest of things. The little kiss my son gives his baby sister, the little look of recognition from my 2 week old when I talk to her, the feeling of content as the four of us sit in bed in the morning, me feeding my daughter and my son watching on, my husband beside me, and the feeling inside me that we made these little people is so incredible and rewarding. It’s a lovely sunny day here, before his nap toddler has been playing happily on his own outside in the garden for what feels the first time ever and as they rest I wanted to take a moment to celebrate this happy feeling, and enjoy it. We are often too quick to feel a moment and move on to the next one and not enjoy it for all that it is. These incredibly simple little people in our lives can teach us so much and offer so much wisdom. As I said in the title, today I am jut feeling ridiculous amounts of happy and I hope you can have days like this too.
When my mum died, part of me died too. But I know she wouldn’t want that and would want the party to go on, fabulous food and wine, without her! One of the things my mum is remembered for and which was very special for our family is her cooking. Her cooking and understanding of flavours was amazing, and always brought us together. Whether it was a special occasion like a birthday or just a regular mid-week meal, the food was always restaurant quality. (My husband loves to tell me that our mid-week meals were still better than his family special occasion meals!). One of the lovely things that has happened to me since her passing, is discovering a recipe book she made for me with some of her favourite recipes and personalised handwritten notes about when to best serve these dishes, what I liked as a little girl and other special cooking tips.
One recipe I’d like to share with you is her lovely Chicken Marbella. Just the smell of it in the house makes me think of her and my siblings too all find great comfort in this meal. I’ve adjusted it to make it ‘sugar free’ but I’ve kept in the prunes which I think are a key part of the dish. A lovely moist chicken piece with freshly steamed greens and sweet potato mash – food for the soul.
This one is for you Mum. x
8- 10 organic chicken thighs
1 whole head of garlic
1/4 cup dried oregano
Course sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 Spanish green olives
1/2 capers with a bit of juice
6 bay leaves
1/2 cup of rice malt syrup
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup Italian parsley finely chopped
In a large bowl combine chicken, garlic, oregano, pepper an salt, vinegar, Olive Oil, Prunes, Olives, capers, lime juice and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Arrange chicken in pan and pour white wine around the pieces, then bake 45mins – 1hr, basting with the juice over the top regularly.
Serve with mashed sweet potato, steamed broccolini and sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.Use organic ingredients where you can, most importantly the chicken.
Enjoy. And please let me know what you think!
It’s been nearly a year since I last wrote. In that time I’ve had a little baby (who is now 9 months!) and as I have become a mother myself I have create and understand my own version of ‘mother nurture’. I first started this blog when my mum was sick with lymphoma and I wanted to understand more about why that may be and – noticing many similarities between us – what I could do to ensure it didn’t happen to me too. Since her passing and the ever evolving circle of life with me becoming a mother just 9 months later, I seem to understand more and more everyday about how self care is so important but how the priority is not yourself when you first have a baby! It’s really hard to nurture yourself, it’s so primal to want to care for the baby you nurture. I flew recently to America with my little boy and was reminded on the plane about in the event of something happening that we are to put our own oxygen masks on first! Only then can we be of the utmost assistance to our loved ones. So, going forward I want to use this space to explore and discuss some of the issues I face as a mother in relation to food, diet, lifestyle, breastfeeding, sleeping etc etc the list goes on as a mum! Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!
I’ve taken some time out from writing of late, to do the title of this blog, some nurturing of my own dear Mum.
Since her diagnosis last year, she has undergone six months of chemotherapy and then three months ago has had the courage to undergo a revolutionary bone marrow transplant. It’s not an easy transplant, with many risks associated with it. Unfortunately, there were some complications and it did not go as well as we’d like to expect, however our dear Mum put up the most incredible fight and showed more courage and depth of spirit than I could have ever expected of anyone. I have such a huge admiration and the utmost respect for her. Sadly, she lost her battle last month. But, we know that if anyone could have beat it, it would have been my mum.
It’s been a massive journey for us all, and as a daughter and not a doctor there is only so much I can do. But I do believe that it’s the bits we have done as a family are the reason she has made it this far. From the years of support with chemotherapy, love, friendship and above all supporting her and her wishes for treatment, we’ve been there. As much as we’d like a different result, it is what it is. And in this last month, the incredible ties that have bound our amazing family together have been monumental. What a legacy she has left behind. How in awe I am of her. And how blessed I am that we have been there with her for this journey. Apart from the obvious of taking her food and green smoothies (!), and visiting her everyday, we have given her comfort, we have become knowledgeable in the entire BMT subject area, we’ve arranged masseuses so she too can have a little bit of her own nurturing, friends have come by, we’ve sat with her and most of all, loved, supported and nurtured her.
There will not be a day that goes by that I won’t think of my dear Mum. And I already miss her dreadfully. But, I’m aware that she was such a special lady, I believe she has done all she can for this lifetime, no doubt already she is busy in the next lifetime, doing amazing things elsewhere, making other people smile and feel special. And I can’t wait to see her again one day.
Thanks for your support on this blog. I plan to get back into it, and discover a bit more and share here about my own health journey as time marches on.
About a month ago I was lucky enough to spend one glorious week at Gwinganna resort in the Gold Coast Hinterland with my amazing Mum. It’s called a ‘Lifestyle’ retreat, but known lovingly as a health retreat by friends and converts alike. Gwinganna is a special special place. If you find yourself ever able to, I would advise you to go there at least once in your lifetime. It changes something in you. All that I have written, thought and executed in my ‘healthy’ life, was realised and actualised in the week at Gwinganna. So many of the questions for why my body responded in a certain way were answered. The science and education was such an interesting and enlightening experience for me. (So much so that I want to take this study further.) Previously I have mentioned how I do not have any qualifications in the health and wellness industry, just a passion and a keen interest. However, I have discovered an amazing course called the Institute of Integrative Nutrition based out of New York, but that is studied online. And…I am thrilled to say I will be starting this course in 2 weeks time! Will look forward to sharing much of my knowledge with you here!
But before I talk about that, I wanted to share my Gwinganna experience with you. As guests of Gwinganna we started the day at 5.30am with a gentle knock on the door, before we get ready and head off to do Qi Gong at 6am as the sun comes up. The morning is a mix of some yin (slow) and yang (hard/ fast) activity as well as a delicious gluten free, dairy free, sugar free breakfast (my heaven!) and then at 11.30am we meet up for the education seminars. We had some truly amazing people lecture us and help us to put the pieces of the ‘wellness’ puzzle together. Lunch is at 1pm and then from 2pm until 6pm there is ‘dream-time‘ where one spends time getting massaged, pummeled and scrubbed in the absolute world class day spa. Life has never felt so good!
After an early dinner, you retire to your gorgeous room, with no tv’s or screens as distraction yo drift into a blissful sleep ready to do it all again tomorrow.
I came home from the week away with some incredibly clarity about health and wellness, some lovely new friends and a feeling of calm that I have never before experienced. I can’t wait to go back one day, and I hope you get the opportunity to also!