I’m Kathleen, mum of two and know that raising children is bloody hard work!
It’s amazing and exhausting, joyful and tear-inducing, fun and isolating, heartening and frustrating!
Whether you’re an anxious first timer, shattered parents with a non-sleeping baby, fed up with a toddler not eating, stressed with a hitting preschooler or just downright exasperated with all the parenting stuff you feel you ‘should’ be doing.
The good news is that I can help you gain confidence in your parenting decisions, ditch the fear about ‘doing the right thing’ and dump the guilt.
Our society doesn’t help does it?
It can seem that everyone has an opinion on any parenting issue you may have.
You can get a shedload of (contradictory) advice online (thank you Google searches!)
You come up against long-held family beliefs (comments from mother-in-law anyone?)
You get recommendations stated as facts (your friend knows someone, who knew someone who…)
You feel judged for doing ‘wrong’ (outdated advice from a well-meaning health professional?)
So you go with what you’ve read in that parenting book, or with your partner’s opinion even though it doesn’t feel right or what your friend did because it worked out for them.
But you feel like a failure, self-doubts set in and the guilt and the worry but muddle through anyway (I’ve been there too).
It doesn’t have to be this way
I have worked with parents who have been where you are, struggling with the do’s and don’ts.
I helped them choose the right path for them, without fear of judgement.
I can help you find solutions that work for you and your unique family.
Without any rigid rules or short term ‘fixes’.
I can support you to understand your little one, have confidence in your decisions, learn to trust your instincts (and not google) and above all create long term loving, fun and calmer relationships.
So what’s my story, you ask? Why do I care so much? Who am I to be helping you with this?
I was fairly young when I knew I wanted to treat my children differently from the way I was raised. My aim is for them to grow up without the baggage, insecurities and anxieties my experience left me with.
After my daughter was born, I still felt conflicted much of the time. Confused about all the contradictory advice, doubting myself, wondering if I was doing the right thing, worried about doing the wrong thing.
I messed up, made mistakes and did a ton of stuff that I wish I’d done differently. If only I knew what I know now back then! Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
I slowly, slowly became more confident in trusting myself. I focused on making decisions based on love, respect and empathy. Instead of the coercive and physical punishments, the aggression and shame from my childhood.
I grew increasingly passionate about sharing what I knew with others, joining community groups online and continuously learning.
My self-education continued during the long process of adoption, I learnt about therapeutic parenting and how our early years impact our brains and later social and emotional development.
Then I decided to make my passion my career and trained with CalmFamily. An inspirational education and support community whose values matched mine. I share their goal of changing the world and creating a better society – one family at a time.
Some personal stuff
I live on the south coast of the UK with my two children and husband. I’ve got a 9 year old who is kind, generous, excitable and growing up way too fast and a 4 year old who is a whirlwind of fun and has wicked sense of humour!
The areas I live has some gorgeous countryside and we like to get out and about as much as we can. Wet weather just means waterproofs, wellies and puddle jumping. We all love being outdoors, the kids enjoy it and I find there are less arguments, so it’s a win win!
My self-care and downtime include yoga, guided meditation and the odd glass of wine.
I love to read, although not much time for it these days and can’t resist binging on Netflix (staying up too late probably doesn’t count as self-care does it?) I enjoy Sci-FI and fantasy stuff (reading The Hobbit with my daughter at the moment) as well as good dramas.
I’ve got a motorcycle licence and miss my days of touring and camping with friends and speeding round tracks (kids give you new sense of life preservation and less money!) One day I’d love to spend weeks camping and riding a motorbike through the rockies.
The experience I can offer you
CalmFamily Certified Consultant
- Everything I chat about in my 1:1 Consultations and classes is research based and has a scientific background. So you can have confidence in the evidence we discuss, to inform you and give you peace of mind about your decisions (It’s never about my personal opinion on how you should parent, that’s not my place).
- I’m now a Certified CalmFamily Consultant, specialising in babies and toddlers/pre-schoolers (training in older children to tweens is coming and I’m so excited!)
- My training included areas such as neuroscience, psychology, biology, anthropology, evolution and infant/child developmental norms.
- And it continues. Being a CalmFamily Community Member means keeping on top of the latest research, sharing and learning from my peers and taking advantage of the continuous professional development provided (it’s also a fab excuse to get together!)
Breastfeeding Peer Supporter
Feeding your baby is a learning curve for both of you, yes there are biological instincts that help but it’s not always straightforward.
If you’d like to understand how your milk supply works, how to establish and maintain it or want some guidance on getting you and baby in a great position for feeding, or you’d simply like a chat and support over a cuppa, I can help.
I’m a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter, I also have links with some great local and online support groups and highly experienced IBCLC’s (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) I can refer you to.
- If you’ve never used a sling and would like to try or fancy having a go with something different, get in touch. There are so many options out there, it’s can be tricky knowing where to start!
- I can help you choose a sling/carrier that’s right for you and your little one and give you confidence in using it comfortably and safely.
- I absolutely love slings, they’re such a great parenting tool! I used them with both of mine and enthusiastic about sharing my love of carrying.
- I’ve trained with Slingababy as a Carrying Consultant and spent a few years as a Peer Supporter in a local sling library prior to that.
I’m a Co-Director of New Forest Slings CIC where we offer sling advice and hire to the local Hampshire community.
My services include personalised 1:1 Sling Consultations and I can arrange hire via New Forest Slings.
I can also signpost to other fabulous local, national and postal sling/carrying services wherever you’re based.
My support is different from many of the parenting TV shows and books you may have come across.
I take into account your baby, toddler or preschooler’s normal, natural development and give you knowledge and strategies to work with your little one, instead of against them.
I bust a fair few myths and often go against popular or mainstream parenting advice.
I encourage you to listen to your instincts, consider your unique personality and your child’s and reflect on your family values.
I’m passionate about using my knowledge and experience to share unique insights and a deeper understanding of your children, to help you make the choices that are right for you and your family.
Above all, I like to inspire a loving, fun and respectful relationship with your child.
A positive and trusting relationship that will foster resilience, confidence and independence for your child’s future.