The plan vs reality


I think parenting is a constant battle of coming to terms with the reality of a situation when it doesn’t live up to your plans.

In a perfect world we could predetermine our child’s behavior and the way in which we could deal with that behavior, but as with every aspect of life, we need to remain flexible and be willing to adjust the way in which we parent to suit the circumstances.

What works now, won’t always work and what works with one child won’t necessarily work with another.

The other day I met a new mother who said that before she had her baby she had decided that her bub would be fully breastfed and under no circumstances would she co-sleep or use a dummy. It turns out that to keep her sanity she now does all those things, but I think it shows resilience and flexibility to be able to change tact to find ways that work for you and your child.

I worry that too many people seem to shame parents for their way of parenting when we should support each other and understand that we don’t live in a perfect world with perfect children. We have to just do the best we can and not be too hard on ourselves if things deviate from our original plan.

There’s no right or wrong in parenting, there is what is just what is right for you at the time.

All parents are winging it and trying their best, so relax and don’t be so hard on yourself if things don’t turn out the way you originally planned.

(Photo courtesy of nenetus,



My heart breaks as I share this story with you. Earlier this year, my friend Carmen and her husband Kyle had a beautiful daughter Tilly – a little sister for their gorgeous son Jock. At Tilly’s standard eight week check up they were shocked to find out Tilly has Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and in order to have a chance to survive she must undertake two years of chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants.

This family’s life has been turned upside down. Life as they knew it changed, as Carmen and Kyle took on a roster of one looking after their son, whilst the other stayed in the hospital with Tilly. Every time they leave the hospital they don’t know whether it will be the last time they will see their baby girl alive. With a depleted immune system there have been a few close calls but little Tilly is a brave and courageous fighter.

Most parents of small babies are focused on them reaching their milestones of sitting, rolling and crawling. Tilly has a different set of milestones. The next milestone for Tilly is a bone marrow transplant.

Imagine the stress of being utterly helpless to do anything to heal your daughter, other than sit by and watch as she undergoes multiple surgeries and is constantly pumped full of chemicals to kill off this insidious disease. Add to that the stress of day-to-day expenses and mounting medical bills, when neither you nor your husband can work for fear of possibly missing precious moments with your critically ill child. The Swains are proud people and have not asked anyone for help, but you don’t have to be in their shoes to know that although we can’t help eradicate Tilly’s cancer, we can help ease the stress of monetary concerns by assisting this family in need.

A fundraising page has been started to help the Swains where we ask you to donate $20 for Tilly. This small amount may not make much of an impact on your weekly budget, but will mean the world to a family dealing with unbearable stress. Please find it in your heart to help and to share this story.

I will keep you updated with Tilly’s progress and hope to report in the future that she has grown into a happy and healthy little girl, with no memory of her difficult start to life.