So, truthfully… how was your weekend? Was it Hallmark perfect and Instagram worthy? Was there breakfast in bed, a beautiful card to mark the commercial holiday and a bunch of flowers to brighten the house? Or did you wake up feeling un-rested, with sheets to wash and dishes waiting in the sink, crumpled clothes off the line crowding the dining table or couch, waiting to find their way back to their drawers? Is the reality of your day to day dragging you down, so that you’re starting to wonder where the joy truly is? Trust me, it is there! Somewhere, in the cheeky faces of your kids and the experiences and memories that you’re building – perhaps what you need is a bit of self care to enable you to find the fun again.

As parents the notion of self care is typically an afterthought, if it registers at all in between thoughts of eat-play-sleep, schedules, food, finances, housework. But it is just so vital! Our own mental health impacts directly on our ability to care for our children, and our sense of self and the ability to prioritise doing what keeps us happy and healthy are both so easily lost in the early years of parenting.

We have many resources in the library, whether you’re a craft lover, novel devourer, movie marathoner or documentary devotee… hopefully you will find something in our collection that feeds your self care need. I’ve selected a couple of books from our parenting collections that I think may help demonstrate why self care is so important for parents.

Candy and Richard were the winners of the door prize flowers at the Coolbellup Pram Jam Mother’s day morning tea last week (7th May 2018). I hope that the flowers have brightened your week, Candy!

Elizabeth and Sofia were the winners of the door prize flowers at the Spearwood Pram Jam Mother’s day morning tea held last Thursday (10th May 2018). Enjoy your gorgeous bloom!

Book Suggestions

Buddhism for mothers : a calm approach to caring for yourself and your children

by Sarah Napthali

Firmly grounded in the day-to-day reality of being a mother, Buddhism for Mothers discusses Buddhist teachings as applied to the everyday challenges of bringing up children.

Cover Image for Buddhism for mothers
Cover Image for Parenting from the inside out

Parenting from the inside out : how a deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive

by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Mary Hartzell, M.Ed

Born out of a series of parents’ workshops that combined Siegel’s cutting-edge research on how communication impacts brain development with Hartzell’s decades of experience as a child-development specialist and parent educator, this book guides parents through creating the necessary foundations for loving and secure relationships with their children.

In my blog this week I want to remind you all to do plenty of things today (and every day!) to show a bit of self care. It could be:

*starting the day with a really good cup of coffee (try driving thru one of the fresh coffee roaster windows rather than a chain store, if you aren’t in the habit of grinding your own beans at home).

*cooking a hot breakfast rather than settling for toast or cereal again.

*spending an hour by yourself. It could be as simple as going to the supermarket without the kids (spudshed, 24hrs, thanks!), but I love to go to home opens on the weekend. Alone.

*getting some exercise – Cockburn ARC has a crèche available to visitors if you fancy trying that option… my younger ones would tend to scream blue murder if I dared tried to leave them in a crèche while I swam, so my exercise involved splashing around in the toddler pools for a fair while there! I also love the walk along the beach from Port Coogee to South Beach, or around some our amazing lakes.

*going for a haircut/beauty treatment/using some indulgent beauty treatment that you already have at home (babies love to rub lotion!)

*buying yourself a bunch of flowers. There’s no need to wait for an occasion or excuse, flowers are like bubbles, there’s rarely a reason to say no to either 😉

*getting out of the house to socialise! Pram Jam and Storytime are wonderful ‘no-pressure’ environments for socialising. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know a soul and don’t talk to anyone at all, I can guarantee that you’ll get lots of smiles and friendly faces in each of our branches. Stay afterwards and watch your child interact with the other babies, have a chat to the presenter and introduce yourself if you dare (we love to learn as many names as possible!). Some of my favourite friends are families that I’ve met in the library, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know them all.

What do you do in terms of self care? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below, as we all have different needs and I would love some new ideas to draw on for myself!

Some children’s books that touch on the importance of self care include these two gems.

Oofoo learns to relax

Written by Amy Hamilton ; illustrated by Megan Saul.

Our modern world is fast-paced, unsettled and rather stressful. Stress is a normal part of a child’s everyday life, however if the level of stress outweighs a child’s ability to cope, then it becomes a problem. Our children need to develop skills and strategies to be able to cope with stress in their lives. In this beautiful illustrated picture book, Ooofoo, the anxious and crazy magpie, introduces us to some of the most common symptoms of stress in children and how to counteract them in a fun, light hearted way!
1 yrs+

Cover Image for Oofoo

If I could drive, Mama

Written by Cari Best ; pictures by Simone Shin.

A boy turns a cardboard box into a car and imagines what it would be like to take his mama for a drive all around town. A wonderful story of how a child shows his mum how much he cares for her.

Some self care songs

Whether your weekend was wonderful, meh, or really not so awesome at all, I hope that with a little reflection we can all find the joy today, and either take some time just for ourselves or do something with our babies that builds us up. I’m taking a few hours for myself this afternoon and will be sure to thoroughly enjoy it after a hectic couple of weeks both at work and at home! Hope to see you at a Pram Jam session soon.