Check out the Raising Children Network, an Australian Parenting Website:

Download the Family & Children’s Services booklet “Being a Mother”, produced in Western Australia.

Tips for New Mums

Article: Your New Life

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One of the greatest milestones in a woman’s life is becoming a mother. No other event in one’s life brings about as many changes and as much responsibility as this one. Having a baby gives one a sense of fulfillment and enormous joy. At the same time study done in Australia on new mothers, has shown that, first-time mothers have been overwhelmed by the changes that take place after the baby is born. Most of them admitted that they were not prepared for their new role as a ‘mother’, and the extent to which their lives changed with the arrival of the baby. Most of them said that they were exhausted with the amount of work that was involved in taking care of a newborn.

The study also showed that over a period of time as they got used to the baby and formed a routine, they become more confident about their nurturing skills. When they accepted help from family and friends to do various chores they were more comfortable and enjoyed their new status better. The study has stated that three factors helped women adjust to their new role:

  • Prior knowledge about motherhood and babies.
  • Good support system consisting of family and friends.
  • Alert, receptive baby who helped the mother take care of them.

Change is the only constant in life. Each time there is change in your life, you learn, growth and discover things about yourself that you were not aware of. A few tips that new mothers must remember:

  • Being a mother is a learnt skill; it isn’t something that a woman is born with.
  • The first three years of motherhood are the toughest and they will pass by before you know it. So enjoy it.
  • Taking care of a child was never meant to be one person’s responsibility. So get all support you can and you will enjoy being a mother.

Being a mother is a wonderful gift and feeling, inspite of all the hard work enjoy it while it lasts.

Tips for Breastfeeding Mums

Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is an organisation of people interested in the promotion and protection of breastfeeding. Amongst these are breastfeeding women and their partners and health professionals such as doctors, lactation consultants and midwives. ABA was founded in Melbourne, Victoria in 1964 (as the Nursing Mothers’ Association), with the primary aim of giving mother-to-mother support to breastfeeding women.

Tips for Mums with Toddlers

Article: “Tips for toddler behaviour” by Raising Children Network

There are 12 ways to encourage good behaviour in children of any age plus a few extra tips that can help bring out the best in your toddler.

  • Toddlers are naturally curious about their world. They learn by testing and experimenting with everything around them. Constantly telling her ‘no’ can pour cold water on this natural curiosity. You may want to try some other ways to change behaviour you don’t like.
  • Allow exploring. Try to create situations where your child can explore life without lots of ‘don’ts’ and ‘nos’. For example, if it’s not acceptable to blow bubbles in her milk during lunch perhaps she can go outside later and blow bubbles in water. Put your favourite things out of reach so you don’t have to tell your child not to touch them.
  • Let’s make a trade. If she is sucking on your favourite scarf, replace it with a less precious but equally tasty item (see our tips on how to use distraction).
  • Offer two choices. Most children like to have some control over their world. By offering her two choices (either of which you are happy with), you can guide her to the result you would like. So, if you think she needs to do a wee, you could say, ‘Would you like to go on the potty or the toilet now?’
  • Change the environment. When she wants to ‘help’ in the kitchen, move her away from the hot oven and give her a wooden spoon and a pot to bang.
  • Show her how you feel. If she happens to pull your hair, pull a sad face and say ‘ouch’. If she keeps doing it, avert your eyes and withdraw a little. Using ‘I’ statements helps, like ‘I don’t like it when you pull my hair’. She will recognise her own emotions in yours, like a mirror, and be able to feel for you.
  • Avoid rewarding bad behaviour. Your attention is a powerful reward for your child. Avoid giving it when your child is doing something you don’t like. Putting your child down (if you are holding her) or walking away from her are good ways of not giving attention if your toddler keeps doing something you don’t like after you have asked her to stop.
  • Explain the consequences of her behaviour so she can figure out why something is wrong. This helps give her a better understanding of the world around her.
  • Manage transitions carefully. At this age, children can find it hard to change from one activity to another. Some extra time, sensitivity and planning can help.

The word ‘discipline’ actually means ‘to teach’ and not necessarily to punish. If you use the above strategies, you will probably never need to punish your child in the old-fashioned sense.

Smacking is not an effective or acceptable punishment for a child, no matter what age. Hitting doesn’t change a child’s behaviour for good. It might stop their behaviour momentarily, while they try to figure you out, but they will soon become confused when they copy your behaviour and get in trouble for it. It doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn about related consequences or solve their own problems. Instead, it can make them fearful, insecure and resentful.

Some parents may hit their child because they are trying to relieve their own tension or stress in a situation. For more help with managing stress and angry feelings, try reading Feeling stressed and When you feel you might hurt your child

When to say ‘No’
Often, a child behaves ‘badly’ because they know it will get attention (and for children of all ages, negative attention is better than no attention at all). So paying too much attention to bad behaviour actually encourages it.

If your toddler is aware of the ‘right’ behaviour, she will only respect you if you follow through with the matter-of-fact consequence that you agreed on earlier. If she is not aware, then a firm ‘No’ or ‘Stop that now’ is something your toddler should understand, but save these expressions for when it really counts or in dangerous situations.

Even though your child may be walking and talking now, and even though she stopped in her tracks the last time you said ‘No’, that doesn’t mean your toddler will stop every time, so you still have to make sure you have a firm but comfortable grip of her hand when crossing the road, or in other potentially dangerous situations.

If you ever become concerned or very frustrated by your toddler’s behaviour, seek professional advice.

Tips for mums with Twins/Triplets

Check out the TwinSane website.

10 Tips for Balancing Work and Motherhood

Article by Lisa Druxman — Check out their website for more entrepreneurial motherhood resources.

Although there’s no secret recipe to balancing work and motherhood, there are thousands of women out there who have learned to do it successfully, women who’ve taken on this challenge before us and have come out on top.

I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to interview many, many entrepreneurial moms. And without fail, at some point during our conversation, they all say the same thing:

“When I’m working, I feel like I should be with my kids. But when I’m with my kids, I feel like I should be working.”

But that guilt doesn’t stop us from striving for success in both work and as a mother — we want to be able to do them both and do them both well. And if you ask any mom entrepreneur, they’ll probably tell you what they’re doing now is the most rewarding thing they’ve ever done. It’s certainly not easy, but it’s worth it.

I know for a fact that any one solution won’t work for everyone. But I’ve found some common themes among the successful working moms that I know, and here are their 10 tips for being both a terrific mom and business owner.

  1. Get — and stay – -organised. Your work time is precious and not as dependable as it would be if you worked in a traditional workplace. You can’t afford to waste time looking for files, sorting through junk mail or even finding a pen. Keep everything clean and organised from the start. Have supplies available and in a place where you know you can immediately put your hands on them.
  2. Have a plan. Some mompreneurs use paper organizers and some use tech gadgets, but all of them use some sort of planner to balance their work life with their family life. (Personally, I love the “Chaos Companion” organizer by Mommy Hulabaloo. It’s a complete mom-inspired day planner.) Ideally, you should keep both personal and work appointments on the same calendar so you don’t overbook or double up. And while it doesn’t always work, you need to set aside hours for when you’re going to get your work done. If you just wait for it to happen, it never will. Of course, you’ll have to be flexible as your child-care provider will inevitably cancel, your kids will get sick and your spouse may occasionally need to work late.
  3. Work with your family, not against them. When your children are little, make sure your office is kid-proof. Get covers for your computer and child-safe drawers on your filing cabinet, and keep your paperwork out of reach if you don’t want your reports and invoices covered in crayon. Some women I’ve spoken with set up a child’s office space within their office so that crayons, paper and activities are available to keep their kids busy. As your children get older, find ways to get them involved in your work. When they’re old enough, let them stamp envelopes, fold fliers or shred paper. Just never let them answer the phone!
  4. Think nap to nap, not 9 to 5. Break out of the 9-to-5 office hours’ tradition. Your hours as a mompreneur might start before your family wakes up, continue during nap times and go on into the wee hours of the night. Prioritize appointments that need to be accomplished in person during the traditional day time hours. But understand that e-mail, filing, reading, and a lot of your other office tasks can be done at any hour of the day or night.
  5. Stay ahead of the game. By the time evening hits, yes, you’re exhausted. But take a few minutes to set out school clothes, set up the coffeepot, prepare lunches and clear your desk. You’ll be so grateful to have a less chaotic morning if you do all this the night before. You might also want to consider getting up a little before your family does so you can exercise, take a shower or get some work done.
  6. Suzy Homemaker who? You don’t have to be Suzy Homemaker to be a good mom. Let go of your need to be Martha Stewart. Your priorities are your family and then your work. You don’t have to be the mom that bakes the school brownies from scratch or hand-makes the costume for the school play. Choose your priorities — your kids will care more that you’re there!
  7. Schedule a mommy day. Every Tuesday used to be so stressful for me because I didn’t have a nanny or my husband to help out at all. I prayed for long naps and few interruptions. Needless to say, most of the time, it didn’t happen. So I finally decided to make Tuesdays a “mommy day.” I worked more on Monday night and Wednesday to make sure I could have Tuesdays to myself. Now when I get work done on that day, it’s an extra perk and not a source of distress.
  8. Stay focused, and don’t get sidetracked. One of the hardest things for work-at-home moms is getting sidetracked by children, laundry, dishes?well, you name it. Make a list each month of what you intend to get done. Then break the list down week by week, then day by day. If you stay focused, you can stay committed to getting things done.
  9. Get help from your partner, then thank him for it. It’s very difficult to succeed without help, so communicate with your partner about how he can help you — you both need to remember you’re juggling two full-time jobs. Figure out how to parent and chore-share so you’re both on the same page. Then tell your spouse how grateful you are for all his help.
  10. Take care of you. How can you work out when you don’t have enough time with your kids? How can you take a bubble bath when you’re behind on a report? Realize now that there will never be enough time in the day to get everything done. Your in-box will still be full when you die, so learn to accept that fact now. It may seem like a clich?, but in this case, it’s the truth: You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your family, your business and your home. Just mark it in your calendar!

Working moms are amazing jugglers who fulfill many roles. I love the logo that Lolita Carrico created on her site, It’s a woman with eight arms balancing everything from a baby to work and everything in between. It represents our never-ending quest to find balance.

Balance — it’s a feeling we all hope to achieve, yet which always seems to escape us. At the end of the day, however, you have to acknowledge all you’ve done and all you’ve accomplished. The fact that you did it and will do it again tomorrow means to me that you’ve mastered it as well as anyone else.

Lisa Druxman is‘s “Mompreneur” columnist and the founder and CEO of fitness franchise, Stroller Strides. Druxman is also a nationally recognized speaker and author, and is considered an expert in the field of fitness, particularly pre- and postnatal fitness.

Tips for Mums with Teenagers

You may like to pass on this brochure, “Tips for Teens”, to your teenager. It is produced by the Women & Children Health Services in Western Australia. Click here to download.