Little People, Big Feelings by Gen Muir OUT NOW

Never enough. How to ditch that heavy parenting mental load.

#newbaby #parenting Mar 25, 2024

I was chatting to the most gorgeous new dad of a newborn baby girl this week. He was overjoyed to be a new father…learning to swaddle, supporting his partner, and absolutely smitten with his baby. There was one thing he was struggling the most with… constant worry about getting it wrong.

 He told me this:

‘the highs are so high, and there are really low lows, it’s a rollercoaster - but the hardest part of all is when she cries and we can’t help her or when feeding is hard and then this worry creeps in that maybe we are already stuffing everything up’.

Nothing could have prepared this dad for the underlying, nagging worry that maybe somehow despite trying his best he was already ‘getting it wrong.’ 

I reflected that in the last five years within the hospital environment I am seeing more and more parents who feel so worried, so heightened, so anxious about 'getting it wrong' before they've even begun. 

 And the...

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Research shows kids who do chores are more successful….. but how do you ACTUALLY get your child to do them?

#parenting Nov 14, 2023

Last week I went away for a girl’s weekend. Much to my surprise and delight I came home to a SPOTLESS home. The washing was done, the lawns were mowed, even my car was washed! I looked at my hubby in disbelief and he said with a smile: “I found a new trick… I wrote each boy a list of 2/3 chores on a post it note and handed it to them. I told them chores before anything else and they just …..did it!”

He was pleased with his ‘dad hack’ - and I couldn’t believe it. Because it’s not always simple to get four different personalities doing chores as asked in our home.

At the same time: we both also know from our experience of raising four boys why this technique did in fact work so much better than the usual ask, then nag and then yell approach that let’s be honest, we all occasionally slip into.

I’ve seen a lot of buzz this week on social media about new research that indicates that children who regularly help around the...

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Getting kids to cooperate – the answer lies in a fist bump

How we can learn about parenting from watching the NBA

When working with parents around the challenges they are experiencing with their children there is one place that no matter what the problem I will always recommend we start.....


Our children are wired to seek out relationship with 1 – 2 primary caregivers (usually their parents), and it doesn’t matter whether the issue in daily life is fussy eating, bedtime battles, screen rage, meltdowns or sibling rivalry… we won’t get anywhere if we don’t start with meeting this need for connection.

This drive for physical connection is so powerful that from the second our newborns arrive earthside they are seeking out the faces and the connection of their primary caregivers more than any other face or shape. A sign of just how vital a sense of ‘belonging’ is for babies and children, right from their very first breath.

I came across the most incredible study this week that looked at what...

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A connected conversation: How to talk to kids about the world

Last week in our local community a man was shot and killed by police right near my boys primary school. By the time I picked them up from after school care they were a mix of worry and questions. I knew we needed to talk about what had happened, not a topic I had pre-picked for Thursday night dinner chat over Chargrill Charlies. I wasn't sure exactly what they needed to know, and was still processing the event myself. 

When events happen both in Australia, and globally it is understandable when parents feel confused about how to talk with our children about them. One instinct is to shield them from it. You know; allow kids to be kids!

This is understandable. After all, from the minute we were handed our first baby we were told when it cries it’s our job to work out what’s wrong and fix it. To stop the sad!

Here’s why I think we should resist that instinct.

Simply put, the world, the media, the internet, even the playground – are too...

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Parenting is perfectly imperfect, spread the word.

Before I conceived my first child, I had a picture of how my family might look. You imagine the sweet baby, the chubby toddler and calm family meals where everyone laughs. Don’t get me wrong – I fiercely adore being a mum to my four boys, but the reality is different, (and much, much noisier) to the preconceived notions I initially had.

From the moment we conceive a baby the expectations or ideas about how that might look and who they might be are in our heads and hearts.

 I vividly remember planning my family. I was going to have a boy and a girl who were best friends. I’d pick them up from school and make their afternoon tea from scratch, before talking about their day together, calming, without talking over the top of each other.

You can imagine my shock when I had two boys close together. One screamed relentlessly for 24 months, sick with allergies and reflux, and my toddler would run away from me, push kids off the top of the slide at the park and then...

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Why you should never tell a new mum to “sleep when the baby sleeps”

When I had my first son 11 years ago I got a lot of advice from family, friends, professionals and even the lady at the post office about what to prepare for. 

There was advice about not buying a corduroy couch because the babies spit up would get stuck in the grooves (for the record this was good advice and I wish I had listened), advice about what pram to buy, and also lot’s of advice about the need to sleep.

 Before the baby……..

“Sleep now while you can because you will never, ever sleep again” many an experienced mum would chuckle.

After I had the baby……

“sleep when the baby sleeps, it’s the only way to survive ”.

Good advice, in theory. But the effect it had on me was that the minute my baby was asleep – and I wasn’t, I would worry. After all, this was what I needed to do to be a ‘good mum’. Sleep when he sleeps!

Fast forward to today, and I have survived the lack of sleep of four...

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