Tag Archive | "support"

About Grandparents

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About Grandparents

Posted on 07 September 2015 by Kristrun

Most of us were lucky enough to grow up in a loving family and environment.  Most of us have parents that we love and who love us back.  As mentioned in my last blog, parents can be helpful, and also unhelpful, when it comes to the first days with a new baby, partly because when they were raising their children, the environment and advice was very different to now.

It is hard for parents to abandon their beliefs and habits and they do not always understand the way our generation does things as parents – all the access to courses and information, how we research and investigate before we do anything.

In fact, our parents are often of the belief that despite it being great to be able to get support from the internet and our friends, the overflow of the same is only making our lives more confusing and frustrating. Taking away the independence and “get on with it” parenting.

Of course, we all know this and probably agree to a point, but we cannot go back in time.  And to be honest, there are so many things from the past that we are grateful to not have to go through. I am not even going to start the list of comparison.

What I wanted to remind us all of was that grandparents, despite their perhaps different opinions and other difficulties (the typical MIL issue), are not something we should take for granted.

The day will come, and has already come for some, that the grandparents will say goodbye for good. There will be no more remarks or comments, no more unrealistic demands or opinions, no more decisions on how to split the holidays etc. 

And in my opinion, to have grandparents in my children’s lives, is such a treasure.  They add such tremendous value and richness into the lives of those kids – they teach them so much by just being there.  By their manners, their personalities, the way they speak, think, the things they have gone through in life, their way of handling situations, money, travels, how they hold books when they read and how they patiently cut the food for the children.  How they have time, and make time, and quietly teach them without teaching them.

Everything about the grandparents is different and not easily emulated by those of a younger generation.  It is something that comes from living through the times they lived through, growing up amongst larger families and more generations of people under the same roof. Having gone through the times where money, electricity, heat, access to all sorts of products and services was limited, travel was not an option so easily and more and more.

If we grew up in a loving household where our parents were kind to us and did their best, our parents deserve, however annoying they may sometimes be (I mean this in a humorous way), that we treat them with dignity and kindness back. Perhaps they can sometimes just have their way with the kids, without us getting annoyed.  Perhaps it will not do any harm to our children.  And perhaps, we need sometimes to slow down and remember to enjoy all the moments that we have with our own parents too. 

Every year I try and “let go“ of my kids for a few weeks and they grow up in the arms of their grandparents. I try and let them not be guests in the homes of their grandparents, but rather to live with them. I am lucky, as the grandparents have health and the willingness to offer and welcome this.  They get something out of it too, of course.  But it is not something I take for granted. 


Of things in life that my children have, I rate this amongst the highest of all things.


Hulda 2015


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The marathon of birth – and other marathons

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The marathon of birth – and other marathons

Posted on 25 August 2013 by hulda

Many say that birth has nothing in common with a marathon.  While I appreciate that births are a very different experience from one person to the next, I feel that there are many things that marathons and births do have in common.  Without debating this – as I can actually go and dig into the research and find lots and lots to support my thoughts, but I will not – I am just going to share a few of my recent marathon feelings.

I prepared for Racing the Planet 250 km walk/run in Iceland in Hong Kong for 4–5 months before the race.  I was not in the best physical condition to take on such a race and had never run/walked anything beyond 25 km in my life. Most people around me were not convinced that this was a good idea, and few had done anything like it.  Those that had, however, found it not all that difficult and somehow seemed to be moving onto their next projects easily – usually an even longer run.  Some found it absolutely amazing and following these people was the thing that inspired me. Plus, I was curious to know whether I actually could do it?  Why not?  And then when supported and encouraged by two amazing ladies who also were inspired to do it, I had no more reasons to say no.  It was a fantastic way to “find inner strength” (is this not what we all try at some point), get fit and have lots of fun, plus do something new and hopefully inspire others in the way that others had done for me.

I knew it would be very stupid to do this without preparation — both physical and emotional.  I also knew, according to experts, that I was on the borderline of meeting the criteria. I was overweight, very busy, had one knee that was really in bad condition after four surgeries, although strong I was not generally fit, had little endurance and had never ran fast nor far.  And it was expensive as hell!

How was I to fit this into a schedule where four children (I admit that helpers run my home way more than I do, and husband is very patient and often works from home, so with help, yes),  very busy with work — busier than usual as we had a sudden decrease in our employees due to retirements etc. — and just generally trying to stay afloat in a life where there was already plenty to do in.  And why?  I did not have to do it after all.  Most people just run normal trail runs here in Hong Kong, or do a short version of the Hong Kong Marathon.

In any case, I signed up.

So many doubts go through your head when you are training and when it does not go well, you have to stay focused, or do as I did and NIKE says we all should, “just do it”.  Don’t think too much, just go ahead, one step at a time, and remind yourself that the easy way is to quit and in fact, you have that option. But you can also have a drink of water and an energy bar, and remind yourself to enjoy the view and the company.

When the time finally comes, you are sure that you have not trained enough. No matter how much fun and enthusiasm, pure joy over this newfound health and happiness is all around you, all of a sudden, you realize that this actually WILL HAPPEN.  Like — possibly — tomorrow!

You buy all the best gadgets, employ the best experts for information, training and gear, speak to all your friends who have done something similar, and you over-educate yourself on blogs and books regarding nutrition, training, philosophies, best strategies for each section, what to do if…

And many, many people come to you and tell you horror stories of their or their friends’ experiences.

Some tell you success stories, because this is how they are — either SUCCESS or NOT  (finish or not).  They don´t all realize that success is not only there when you cross the finish line in a race;  there are many other ways to enjoy success and in any case, this is a very wrong word to use.

Finally, you wake up on the day.  You do all the right things that you remember, but realize that you have also forgotten a lot of the advice you were given and you learned in the books. And there is no time to pull your notes and books out again,  or call your friends. It is the middle of the night anyway.   Your very own worry all along was right to be there. After all your planning, you realize that you have woken up after only four hours of sleep, you feel tired and half nauseous, you’re not really in the mood to eat, you remember that you were washing the trousers that you are going to wear and they are still wet, your other half is absolutely NOT in the mood to cheer you on at 5am, and you start to worry about all the things that will happen next.

But, you go ahead, drive to the start line, look around and realize that it is actually a beautiful day. Although all the other runners seem fitter and better equipped than you, you realize that you have prepared well in many ways, at least you are color coordinated (which was the case in my preparation, the team I was in made all the effort to keep a happy spirit and full color coordination and war paint!).

And you choose to go ahead.  Why not try?  Happy faces all around and anticipation is there, the drugs ha552967_10150814581217743_1193151073_nve not yet been pulled out and everyone is ready. You start to feel a little happy too. Your team partners, that you so very carefully selected, knowing their reputation for keeping up a good mood, for endurance, support, knowledge, experience…. are joining you in happiness.

If you are pregnant and about to give birth, please read the above and apply it to yourself.  Or if you have already had a baby, I am sure you understand.

More to come.

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alone with a baby

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What happened to my friends: where have all my friends gone after I gave birth?

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Annerley

What happened to my friends? is it normal for non-parent friends to disappear as soon as baby arrives? I seem to see less and less of them these days. Is it just me?

The good news is; it’s not just you. However, the bad news is that this does happen fairly frequently. It’s not that your friends no longer want to see you or be your friend. It’s just more of a misunderstanding than anything else.

Looking at it from both sides may help you to get a better idea of what’s going on here. From your perspective, you know you’ve changed. From the moment you stepped into parenthood, you became a different person simply because you had to. You’ve had to adjust to being responsible for a whole new human life. This changes both you and your priorities. Before baby arrived, you would have been quite happy to spend lots of time with your friends, now you no longer have that luxury. Your time has become precious. That’s not to say that you don’t want to spend it with your friends. It’s just that you may prefer to spend it catching up on sleep or having some time with your partner. In the pre-mother days, you would have been able to fit all of this in easily. Now, not so much. Also, you’re in the middle of a crash course in parenting and it’s not exactly how you thought it would be. You may be unsure how to discuss this with your friends who have yet to cross the parenting divide. In other words, life is a little more complicated than it used to be.

Now let’s look at it from your friends’ perspective. The person they used to spend a lot of time with doesn’t seem to have a lot of time for them any more. Maybe they’ve taken that personally so have stopped calling so often. Maybe they are acutely aware that you’re now taking care of a baby and don’t want to get in the way. Maybe they know how tired you are so don’t suggest meeting up for a drink. There are a lot of possibilities here. Also remember that they are completely unaware of the amount of changes you’re experiencing as a new mother. You were unaware before you became a mum too!

Best advice I can give you is to simply let them know how much life has changed for you in such a short space of time. Tell them that although you may not be as available as you used to be, you still need your friends to be there when you manage to find some time. And most of all tell them that they can contact you any time they want…just as long as they text instead of call. After all, nobody wants to wake a sleeping baby!

Orla Breeze teaches the Emotional Freedom Technique here at Annerley, a simple, pain-free tool for dealing with any negative issue or challenge. For more information, please click here

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