Category: family

At the h a n d s of men…

I look down at my baby girl with fear in my heart, afraid that one day she may become a statistic.

Sitting here thinking… preparing myself mentally to write this is reliving it over and over again. I won’t deny it.. the fear of opening up stems from insecurities of what people may think of me. Especially my close friends who are completely unaware of this. I don’t want you to think less of me, that I’m broken or need to be pitied. I can proudly say that I am possibly the fucking strongest person you will ever meet, purely based on my resilience.

*** t ri g g e r   w a r n in g ***
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

At the h a n d s of men…

At the tender age of six, I would go to my neighbours house. He was an old Italian who grew the most delicious tomatoes in his little green house out the back of his property. I would often be allowed to taste them, and for that I was fond of this old man. But one day, I visited him, smelt the alcohol on his breath when he lifted me up and touched me. I knew instantly what he did was bad, it hurt me. After that whenever I saw him on his porch I called him a bastard.

At fourteen I was coerced to lose my virginity to boy I admired. Six months of my life I will never get back. Police were involved. At school, I was known as a ‘slut’ and could potentially ruin a young boys life. Can you see where am I heading?

At fifteen I was at a party with my girlfriends, after falling asleep I woke up to a man putting his fingers inside me. I was drunk but I never once consented to this. I didn’t even know what he looked like. But I should have been more careful! See what I did there?

At sixteen I entered my first domestic violent relationship with a boy who came from a ‘good’ home. Tears and sprained shoulders was a weekly occurrence… I spent one year and a half with him. I should have left him when I had the chance! If only I had the courage!

At nineteen I went to a party with my boyfriend. There was a young bloke there who just wouldn’t leave me alone! When I keep telling my boyfriend he fobbed it off, exclaiming “oh he’s a faggot.” After two drinks I was incoherent and then all of a sudden, this bloke leads by the arm to where the cars were parked. Even though I couldn’t talk I did let out a scream. Thank fuck two guys came to my aid, and the guy wasn’t seen since. Even my boyfriend couldn’t protect me…

At the age of twenty, I worked in a Hotel as a waitress on a traineeship. The Head Chef was this towering and intimidating French man. One day he cornered me in the kitchen and said he could rape me and no one would ever know. I looked at him straight in the eye and calmly said that he couldn’t say that. I remember distinctly how he replied, with his nauseating French accent, “I can say what I like it’s my kitchen.” I resigned and took them to court. I remember their lawyer was trying to brand me for being some kind of gold digger.

At twenty-one I had a girl’s night in town, with the intention of crashing at her home. After a fantastic night, we all said good night and I went off to bed. But then I awoke to a man in my room getting in bed with me. He was touching my body, and I told him to get out. He even went on to say that he didn’t even know if I was ugly or not… I took the blanket and slept in the lounge room. My friends found me and I told them what happened. I found out that this guy had a girlfriend and was terrified she was going to find out what happened. But he wasn’t sorry for what he did to me…

And society makes it all fucking worse! We are constantly victim blaming. The focus is always removed from the perp and straight onto the victim, on how she could have made her situation safer. Women are terrified to catch public transport at night, sit in the front seat with a taxi driver, hold keys between their fingers, take self defense lessons. Women, daughters, young children are conditioned that it is a possibility that they could be sexually assaulted. But what are we doing for our young men?

This is what I fear for my daughter..

Let’s talk about Motherhood | Guest Writer The Dilli Delli

Let me talk about Motherhood

The most powerful teaching moments are the ones where you screw up = Brene Brown

Somewhere along the way I have find myself being a mum now for 24 years. So that means I gave birth to my first born 8888 days ago… WTF… How did that happen? …

Often when I am chatting to either of my sons I feel myself slipping into the conversation of a 20-year-old, except I do have a lot more wrinkles…  I have always been a bit of a merger, I often morph into the people that I find myself around.  It is only for a minute, but I remember the thoughts of a 20-year-old very clearly and can take myself back there… BUT somewhere along the way I am now 48 years of age!

Motherhood for me hasn’t always been easy, peasy…  Postnatal depression, anxiety, caring for my elderly mum, working, living meant I wasn’t always there fully or if I was I wasn’t always at my best … not that we need to be the best at all, but self-reflection in parenting has been a big gift for me.

What did help me the most was when my boys went off to school I started working at a Family Support organisation.  The training I received, the mentors I had, the support that I offered other parents and the learning I received from them allowed me to grow and learn.  Thank goodness for all that learning, as it got me out of some hairy situations over the last 24 years…

Parenting has been the hardest gig, I will admit, yet the best gig…

I have stuffed up, I have smacked too much, I have yelled, I haven’t always provided the best lunch boxes or dinners lol, I have got it wrong AND I have got it right.  One thing I have always tried to do was to apologise to the boys for my stuff ups.  I guess I hoped I was role modelling the fact that apologising when you make mistakes is a very good thing to do.  Luckily the boys forgave me.

So, the awesome news is now my boys gladly come and initiate conversations with me.  They are pleased to help me when I ask, glad when I am home, they laugh at me with all my faubles, support my insecurities and are incredibly protective.  Somewhere, whilst I was flailing and smacking too much, I did teach them many things and I have always loved them for who they are, and they now love me for me.

Most importantly, I will note, that we have an amazing husband and an amazing Dad, Daz, who is supportive, a great provider, loving and happy to have the shit taken out of him with great humour.   Actually, I must ask Daz if he would like to share his tips on parenting!

So here I go, sharing without being asked again, my best parenting advice

Don’t judge other mum’s or children and their behaviour, believe me as soon as you think your child won’t bite, he will be biting the next week at Playgroup!  Learnt that lesson early!

Create a tribe around you of people who love your kids and love you…you and they can never be loved enough.

Just remember that one day, in the future, you will want your child to WANT to have a coffee with you.  So, I guess what I am saying is children remember.  As much as they will love you, it doesn’t mean they will like you if they only have memories of you not being at your best.

Attend some parenting workshops and follow Maggie Dent (she’s my favourite) on Facebook. I know you might feel that you don’t need that support or that they are for parents struggling but the learning and support you will receive from sitting in a group of parents struggling or succeeding will be worth every 2 hours you attend.  It’s upskilling.

The words that you say to your child, will be the voice they will forever hear.

Apologise.  The greatest lesson that your children will learn will be the ability to apologise when they get stuff wrong…show them how that is done.

Remember you are the adult…you can not expect a little person to know all that you know.  Do you still not make mistakes that people forgive?   Yes, they will make lots of mistakes as their little brains form and their bodies full of hormones?

When you are dealing with tricky personalities, behaviours, look left or right and you will often find similarities with loved ones.  How do you deal with them?  How do you deal with yourself?

Spend the time, get off the phone, computer, tv if they want to tell you a story.  If you haven’t listened to what you deem as the unimportant then when you want them to tell you something important they won’t.

They will not live at home forever…they will move out and you will miss them.

You don’t only get one chance… you can try again.  In a different way, try and try again.

And lastly. Enjoy. Enjoy. Enjoy your babies even when they become adults.

Second lastly. Forgive yourself, guilt is not your friend!

And third lastly…no one other than YOU are an expert in your own life and children… you are the expert.  A little self-reflection and a little research can certainly help, but you are the expert!

 

Guys, as I read back on that list I think it read like I was kinda waggling my finger!  I have done all these things myself, believe me, it is just some advice, it’s my own self-reflection and I am just putting it out there to have a think on…most importantly enjoy your children and enjoy your life…

Love

Delys x

Dillidelli.com.au

Helping your children make healthy choices – What to focus on and how to do it | Guest Writer Bethany Hatton

According to Psychology Today, healthy habits are established early in life and are very difficult to change. Sadly, society isn’t a great help in this regard — today’s entertainment platforms encourage sedentary behavior, sugar and processed foods are often directly marketed at children, and teens may face peer pressure to try smoking, alcohol, or drugs. All the more reason to start instilling and reinforcing healthy habits as early as possible. Here are some tips on how to go about it.

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating habits established in childhood predict obesity in later life, so it’s important to get your kids off to a good start. The first thing to realize is that almost all toddlers and young children are picky eaters, and it can take a lot of persistence before they start to accept new foods. You should also be careful not to turn healthy eating into a power struggle. Using pressure or coercion, such as not letting them have certain toys unless they eat their spinach, can lead to rebellion and resentment. Negotiation tactics, such as offering a cookie if they eat their vegetables, will also backfire because children will just learn to value desserts more than healthy food. Instead, be a good role model with your own dietary choices, eat as a family at the table, and give them some control over how much they eat — but not what they eat.

Limiting Caffeine

Doctors writing for Healthline point out that caffeine consumption in children can impair bone development, increase anxiety, affect sleep quality, and cause neurological problems — to name but a few side effects. The problem is not just the caffeine, but the sugar, colorings, and other additives that are usually present in energy drinks and sodas. In accordance with the division of responsibility in feeding, you decide what, when, and where to eat, and your children decide how much — so when it comes to caffeine, you are free to set the limits yourself. The occasional drink is fine, but in terms of the daily consumption of caffeine, it’s best to wait until late adolescence or early adulthood.

Minimize Stress

Unhealthy behaviors like binge eating, alcohol use, or smoking are very often a form of self-medication against stress. While difficult times will happen, you can still do your best to make home life as stress-free as possible. Start by keeping the house organized and clutter-free — mess leads to stress, as the saying goes. Keep adult or dangerous items out of children’s reach, including caffeinated drinks and unhealthy foods. Be a role model yourself by managing your own stress levels, and by talking to your children about your own feelings — in simple terms at first. This will help them develop the desire and vocabulary to come to you when they have troubles of their own.

Encourage Exercise

The fight against video games and gadgets is a tough one, but you can win it. Start by looking into your child’s own interests — if there is any physical activity they like, be it a sport, gardening, dancing, or playing the drums, encourage them to keep doing it. If they have an interest to start with, the battle is already half won. Next, do active activities together as a family — you could go to the park and throw a ball or frisbee around, go on a hike, or go on a family bike ride. This HuffPost article has some further suggestions on how to get kids into an exercise habit.

All children rebel against healthy habits, and it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get kids to look after themselves. However, if you’re persistent, set fair boundaries, and act as a good role model yourself, you’ll have a great chance of breaking through the barriers and planting the seeds of healthy behaviors. Once planted, these seeds will grow into positive wellness habits that will last into adulthood.

Bethany Hatton