What's in The Mother's mailbag - 2012
Hi Paul! Have REALLY enjoyed my issues of TM, truly. Eye-opener in some senses, and a general feeling of “I AM NOT ALONE, I AM NOT ALONE!!!” Overwhelming and comforting. THANK YOU.
Greetings, Gabriela, Chile
Thanks so much ~ I love The Mother dearly, and always eagerly anticipate its arrival ~ thank you for all the hard work, caring and thoughtfulness that goes into this publication.
Writing my breastfeeding article reminded me how helpful I found reading The Drinks Are On Me. I read it when Alexander was about three weeks old, so when everything was at its most bonkers. It really helped me solidify my commitment to full-term breastfeeding. Advice I was given, by the midwife, friends and family ~ well-meaning as it was ~ was all based on breastfeeding being something I had to get through for six months before weaning onto formula. Everyone seemed a bit baffled about my determination to continue in the face of problems. I felt very isolated, but your book reminded me this wasn’t something I was going to be doing for just a few months, but years into the future.
Thank you for that. Blessings, Jo
I am a subscriber and avid reader of your wonderful magazine. Thanks for producing such a great magazine and network of like-minded people.
All the best, Arisha Aahmau
LOVE LOVE LOVE the mag!!! It has been such a relief to get it every two months! Everything you do and promote is us to a ‘T’, and though I’m content to swim upstream, boy is it nice to know that I’m not alone! Your articles have helped me beyond belief ~ from the tummytime nonsense, to walking barefoot, to breastfeeding. Because of you, Evolet will be exclusively breastfed until one, and then fruits till she’s two. Thank you; thank you for being so brave and wise about these (what seem to me) obvious, natural ways of being.
Kindly, Lani O’Brien
Thank you and keep up the amazing work you have been doing!
Best wishes, Veronika, Spain
I have already pored through my first issue and look forward to the next one arriving. A perfect breastfeeding companion! Such poignant and pertinent articles. Very inspiring and uplifting, as well as thought-provoking. I’m spreading the word and getting other mommas excited too. That’s how I found out about you: by being lent back issues from a friend. Great job to all who are involved. My family lives in rural BC and runs an all organic, farm-fresh bistro & home-delivery service. www.monkeyinthegarden.com. So now you have my email address and I look forward to connecting with other like-mind folks around the globe. We’re part of an essential act of evolution, and changing, if only ever so slightly, the world in which we live. May our children thrive as Nature intended!
Brandi, British Columbia
I’m always so thankful for all that your magazine brings to me and my life, but this time I would dearly like to thank Emily Stewart for the article that she wrote in TM53, The Shadow Mother. I have never been able to put into words or even organise my thoughts properly, but this article has helped me so much to understand more about myself and my story. I’m now pregnant with my third child, and I feel a new excitement about being able to mother in a way that I believe and feel is right, but not give up on myself and sacrifice my own wholeness ~ to be able to be inspiring for my children. I still don’t know how in practice, but just having a new vision gives me a sense of peace.
Thank you Emily. Kyra
Thank you so much for your wonderful, soul-enriching, challenging and supportive magazine!
Much love, Laura
I’m really enjoying issue 54; it never fails to amaze me how each issue contains something I have been thinking about: Space and Time in Early Childhood and City Children particularly resonate. Thank you!
Hoping you are all well, Lucy. x
Dear Veronika, and the rest of your beautiful family, I have just finished reading your book, Life Without School. Thank you. It has changed me in a way that is hard to describe. My heart has softened and my mind has broadened. I am feeling more relaxed and less conscious of having to “do schoolwork” each day before we do the “fun stuff”. What a relief. New worlds are opening up inside me, as I take off my teaching shoes and go barefoot for a while. Aaaah, the feel of the sacred Earth. The smell of jasmine and the excitement of walking amongst the fireflies. You have also inspired me to follow my own interests more, to venture outside more, to plan family outdoor adventures, to relax more with my kids, and to listen more to what they want to learn about. This is the beginning of an exciting journey for me.
Akhileshvari dasi, Australia
Having been introduced to The Mother magazine a little while ago when a friend lent me a stack of back issues to read, it’s been a source of nurturing and support for my practice as a parent ever since. I feel really lucky to have access to a magazine in which lots of the choices we make as a family are reflected as normal and natural, rather than oddball and unusual. We’ve recently moved with my family to mid-Wales from Sheffield ~ it’s quite a change, and one we’re all enjoying. We’re blessed with lovely neighbours, and are meeting new people all the time, mainly through home-education groups and my local LLL group, but I wondered whether there are any other readers of TM in the area who would be interested in meeting up? I have three lovely sons aged 11, 5 and 2; between us we enjoy going on walks, drinking tea, drawing, painting, play dough, making stop-frame animations, writing, and building fires, amongst other things. e: email@example.com.
All blessings, Antonia
Many thanks for an amazing camp.
Just to say thank you so much for the camp, and to let you know how much we really enjoyed it, each of us taking something different away from it. Too many highlights to mention, but a lovely mixture of the spiritual and the practical, in a lovely community. We both feel unsettled being back home ~ it’s made us think about life and what we want from it, highlighting our dissatisfaction with modern life. We’re also hoping that we can share a Winter get-together like you mentioned. Something to look forward to!
All our love, Nicola, Al, Saskia and Heidi
Dearest Veronika, Paul, Bethany and Eliza,
Thank you so much for all your hard work and effort in planning, organising and providing the wonderful Mother camp. It was so lovely to be able to return and spend time with such warm, like-minded people in such a beautiful setting. I cried buckets when I got home, and feel a deep sense of calm now. The children are already looking forward to next year! The Mother magazine has been such an influencing part of my life; as a mother, midwife and woman. I have managed to keep most of my editions going back to Summer 2004, and only a few have left my hands ~ passed on to aspiring student midwives at workshops I run; my hope is that they will read The Mother and apply the wise-woman knowledge to their own midwifery journeys. Thank you once again, with all our hearts, Angela, Sophie, Lily & Noah
From the Facebook page:
Sara Simon: Yes, a wonderful, wonderful camp. It went so quickly! I don’t think anyone was ready to go home. I’m so grateful that you Robinsons make this event happen, and every year I experience new things and meet new and old friends. All of us had the best time. Now for laundry and sleep... xxxx
Wendy Johnson-Newell: Thank you to the Robinsons and Fosters for providing us with an amazing space in which we can reconnect with the Earth and with each other. We all had a wonderful time.
Oriana: Back from The Mother Camp. It was totally wonderful: amazing company, food, weather and location.
I’m very excited to have a subscription to The Mother magazine as I’ve heard so many good comments about it and couldn’t wait to read it, especially when I saw the cover of the issue 52 and spotted a vaccine topic there. I’m sure I will love every page of the magazine!
Thank you so much, Regards, Laura
The photos of the families in your magazine are always so lovely. Your magazine has hugely influenced my parenting style. Goodness knows where Evie would have been this morning had I not discovered The Mother ....probably being over-stimulated at preschool/swimming lessons/Tumble Tots, etc. Fortunately, thanks to you, she was walking knee-high in grass in the sunshine with her mum and dog.
I just wanted to say what a relief it is to read The Mother. We’re practising all of the ways of parenting discussed in the last edition; and sometimes, even with a few friends parenting in some similar ways, it can feel quite lonely. What a relief to have a whole magazine that makes my soul sigh ‘Yes, Yes, YES’. Thank you!!
Trusting Love, Sharon Ellis, mother of Alma, aged 19 months
Dear Veronika and Paul, Thank you very much for the prompt delivery of The Nurtured Family. Extra special that is was also signed with good wishes. I’ve read it, and very much enjoyed ~ it resonated with me! Having brought up three sons in the 1980s and 90s, now with two grandsons, and been involved in various ways with early years care and education for over thirty years, I still desperately hope that politically we’ll one day wake up as a nation to what is really important for children and their families, and authentically safeguard the preserve of childhood and family life. Many thanks for your inspiring book.
With very best wishes. Tina
I love your magazine, and am glued to the sofa for a few hours after receiving each issue. I’m learning so much through the articles. I was reassured by the Vitamin K article, as my husband and I declined it for our second son, Leo. Many eyebrows were raised, particularly as it was, unfortunately, a forceps delivery, but I know we made the right decision for us.
Love to all your family, Jenny
I just finished reading The Birthkeepers, and while I couldn’t wait to read all of it, I was sad when I finished it. I’m sure that I’ll be rereading it throughout my journey in life. My son’s hospital birth was anything but “natural” and far from what I’d hoped it would be, but the book was so inspiring that it makes me want to be pregnant again so I can have an ecstatic birth in the future like all of the women who contributed their stories had. Veronika, I’ve loved everything that I’ve ever read of yours and I always feel connected to you through your writings, even your cookbook!
Love, light and blessings, Kelly. Israel
I received The Mother magazine as a gift from my husband this month. I absolutely love and appreciate this magazine so very much!
Sincerely, Manju Carrow
What to say? Thank you for a wonderful camp. The intention was strong, and you created a life-changing opportunity for many. The depth of conversation; the vulnerability and the healing were amazing. I have some fantastic new friends and memories to carry through this life and beyond. Thank you, and I’m looking forward to next year.
Hi Paul, Darren, the children and I had a fabulous time at camp; it was such a warm and friendly atmosphere. We really hope to see you all again at the next camp, if not before!
I just wanted to write a thank you for such a wonderful Mother camp; my first, but definitely not my last. As you know, I’ve been going through a tough time at home with my husband leaving, and coming to camp has made a huge difference in my mental state. I felt so healed when leaving the camp, having met some truly wonderful people, attending some of the workshops, eating fabulous healthy food (I’m ordering your cookbook today), and living in Nature helped a lot, too. So a big thank you from my heart to yours.
Kind regards, Lisa xxxx
Dear Veronika, Paul, Bethany and Eliza, Thank you so much for The Mother camp. It was wonderful. We were all there sharing such special moments with one another. To me it was something very deep and sacred. I am in awe and appreciation of all of those families who too share trying to do our best to be conscious and authentic in our life with our children. I arrived a bit out of it from the stress of finding a new home. But I managed to forget about this and be there in the moment underneath the sky, wind and Sun. There is so much that I gained from coming this year with all The Mother people. As I said, the labyrinth was a reflection of my life, and I have since gained a lot of insight and accessed deeply needed strength from what came up in my two walks ~ with child and without. I really appreciated the opportunity to have done both. There are many things I could say about our time at camp this year at Limetree Farm, but the best one that comes to me is special. I’m really interested in a few things from the homeopathy workshop. Lots of love to you all. Eliza, I wanted to especially say how I really enjoyed getting to know you a little more this year. You’re a fabulous young woman. I was filled with such delight whenever I saw you.
Thank you so much for coming to the Beautiful Beginnings Garden Party. It was lovely to see you, and wonderful to hear you speak. Through The Mother magazine you have provided me with inspiration and loving support for many happy and hard years of parenting. So it was really special to hear the words from you in person! It can sometimes be hard swimming against the current, so to speak, and parenting from the heart rather than following mainstream culture. Where we live it seems particularly challenging sometimes! That’s why it is so lovely to meet like-minded souls! Much love and blessings to you.
Camp was sooooo good for us all! We LOVED it! I’m so glad we didn’t go home after the hayfever hit and when Arwen wasn’t feeling well. The day after getting back here I went to see my accupuncture angel who sorted out my eyes and hayfever generally:) Thank you again for all your efforts in making camp such a beautiful space to be in. Thank you for our chat, Paul, it has made a big difference.
Lots of love! Lindy
I love your magazine ~ the best one on the market by far.
Best Wishes, Stephanie
We thank you with our hearts every time we get The Mother.
Thank you. Love and light, Katka
Thank you for your wonderful magazine. It gives me the courage to live the life I want, and the self-belief to raise my daughter by instinct, not textbook ~ invaluable!
Thank you for the new TM that arrived. Another inspiring issue:) Your article, Veronika, about your dad, moved me to tears.
Big, big hug!! Lindy
What a joy to receive those magazines on Friday ~ I didn’t know which to pluck first! Chronological order flew out the window and I just had to scan them all, one after the other.
I read your editorial TM52, and felt deeply moved to feel the tears of love and caring. I loved how you just dived into the safe space of the pages of the magazine and opened your heart. Bless you. I like the articles by Sarah Best And Sara Simon, too.
I really value being part of The Mother community. Over the past 10 years or so you’ve broadened my mind more than I could ever have imagined!
Love to all, Jayne and family
We just wanted to say: loving your magazine. Like so many, only wished we’d found it earlier, although I’m sure we will catch up with all we have missed through the back issues. We’ve just had our 5th child. He is five weeks old, and called Rocco. We’ve learnt so much from your magazine. With each child we became more conscious parents.
Thanks, Paul and Nikki
I’m wondering if I can buy an extra copy of this latest issue. I received my copy last week and it’s so wonderful I immediately want to give it away to someone whom I feel will really benefit from it. But I want to also have a copy for myself. So do you sell the issues individually? If I can buy another copy just let me know how and I’ll do so.
Thanks so much for another awesome issue....so good, it just has to be shared!
Lots of love and beautiful blessings, Shona
Ed’s note: We loved TM52, too. Single issues are available to purchase.
Thank you for all the lovely TM issues. My husband and I really enjoyed the article Beware of Sugar, in the Nov/Dec issue ~ finally someone has written one!! I can’t believe how easily sugar is accessible to children. It’s everywhere! And people associate sugar with children, how ridiculous. We’re 99% sugar-free household, and I believe we’re well as a result of that. We still bake delicious cakes and muffins sweetened with dates, banana or raisins. Life with love is so much sweeter than with processed added sugar in it! Thank you again.
Love to all. Blanka and family
I’ve absolutely loved the lastest issue of TM! Especially the barefoot article. I love to walk barefoot and often hear children begging their parents to let them walk barefoot “but the lady is!”. Walking with shoes on is like wearing earplugs or a veil; walking barefoot is walking in 3D. I just enjoyed a lovely long barefoot walk in Pembrokshire at the weekend.
I’ve also just enjoyed chilli con mystic and a version of the shepherds pie in TM.
Looking forward to seeing you soon at camp. Rose
I’ve just managed to sit down and start reading the latest (lovely) issue of TM, and have just read your editorial. I am so sorry to hear about your father’s death. It is such a shock isn’t it? And such a big life-rearranger! Somehow everything (and nothing) changes. My own father died on the 7th March, after a few short months of pancreatic cancer. We had plenty of time to say goodbye, but the end was traumatic and exhausting. My heart goes to you so strongly because, no matter how they go, the loss of someone as close as your father is so hard. Your words are so beautiful, your description of your journey so far through this grief so similar to my own, in many ways.
Mum says it well; she says she ‘goes in and out’ of grief. The analogy that it is like waves that rise up and subside is so, so true. I found what you wrote about how grief can become lodged in the body very helpful. Mum and I were talking the other day of how our bodies were not feeling good, and how easy it is to think ‘Oh for goodness sake, now what?’, instead of ‘Hmm, my body is telling me about my grief’. I think she has some Ignatia, I’ll get her to take some I think. She is struggling most with feeling the need to ‘show up’ for people, neighbours and friends who call round to see if she is okay, and when they’re there she smiles and cooks and feels fine, but what she really, really needs is peace and quiet and the time and space to feel exactly what she’s feeling. However well-meaning, people there can just get in the way of our process. Ola has been so amazing, children’s responses to their parents’ grief is so incredibly beautiful. She is so gentle with me when I’m struggling. Like you, I hope that she can see that my experience of grief is something that comes and goes, and is not to be feared. I also loved what you wrote about feeling your Dad as free now, your relationship with him being unencumbered by ~ as you said ~ ’ego, wounds and defences’. Dad feels truly free now, none of the sadness he always carried with him remains, he feels beautifully joyful. We too were blessed with a wonderful funeral, it was so very healing, and very beautiful. It feels so good to be part of something that brings light and love into something that can often feel so sad, isn’t it?
I wish you so well on this journey. Losing a parent, or anyone that close, I think blasts our hearts open, makes it possible to feel everything so deeply, so at times the world all feels too much to feel, and at the same time its beauty is staggering. Somehow, losing someone like this changes us forever. We become one of the people who have lost someone close, and so in some way joined in our experience of both profound grief and incredible connection. Thank you for sharing your story of this time.
Sending you a long and loving hug (my dad was king of hugs), and much love. Emily
I just wanted to pass on my love and thoughts to you and your family at this time of your father’s passing. I am thinking of you all. I have been reading your blog, and the beautiful memorial for your dad is incredibly moving. Such love has gone into making it. I know that he will live on in all of you, and precious memories will always be remembered. What a very blessed man he was to have such a beautifully spiritual daughter.
With love and angel light, Claudine x
Dear Veronika, I have received The Birthkeepers from Lindy with your well wishes in it. I have already started reading it and it will be the perfect companion for me during this pregnancy and ecstatic birth. I also just finished devouring the newest Mother Magazine cover to cover and couldn’t help but thinking that you may have put it together just for me ~ every article was just so fitting to my situation at the moment. Your editorial about your dad touched me, too, and am glad that you could grieve in such a beautiful and healthful way. Through the strong and gorgeous Lindy I feel as though I know you a little already, and can see your gentle influence through her. So thanks for touching so many around you, through all your writing, camps, friends ~ even when you never meet them in person.
Much love and blessings to you and your family. Sarang
Thanks so much for the latest TM. The unschooling article, barefoot babies, over stimulation of babies and the vitamin K one were all so helpful and a joy to read. TM makes me feel so supported and my confidence in our ways and joy in our choices is renewed with every issue. Much love and our thoughts,
Thank you very much for the latest issue of The Mother. I read it as I always do ~ with gratitude that such a wonderful publication exists, and glee that there are so many interesting and informative articles to devour. I was so sorry to read about the loss of your father though, and wanted to thank you for writing such a touching and beautiful portrayal of your relationship with him. I have never read such an honestly appreciative piece of writing on the effect one person can have on another’s life and it immediately prompted me to send my own father a message to say how genuinely appreciative I am of him and everything he has done for me ~ which is something I have never found easy to do despite the fact my father is a remarkable and inspiring person. So thank you very much. I hope you and your family are continuing to find ways through your grief and that you are feeling well.
Kind Regards as always and thank you again for your wonderful words ~ I am so glad I did tell my father how blessed I feel to have him in my life.
I received the latest edition of TM and am reading it with beautiful Seren, two weeks old, sleeping contentedly on my chest. I noticed the birth announcement of Harbour Crocker-Hulse. I remember well his mother’s story in TM of her miscarriage and subsequent stillbirth a few years ago. It touched me deeply and profoundly and I doubt I will ever forget its honesty, bravery and pain ~ all so eloquently conveyed. Could you please pass on my congratulations, love and blessings to her, and tell her how her story has stayed with me, and how happy I am for her?
Thanks, Veronika, and I hope you are travelling lightly down your path of grief at this time.
Love to you and your tribe, Jo x
Just had to get in touch after reading the first issue of my subscription...words fail me really. It is truly beautiful, and I enjoyed reading every word. I feel like I’m putting myself back together, piece by piece, and TM has been that piece of the jigsaw that has been eluding me for some time. I am so glad I have found you at last. I’ve also had a little nosy at the blog and really had to write to you about your post, Paul: ‘Guilt edged parenting’, and how it affected me so deeply. I’ve written about it on my blog. I would really like you to know just how deeply you have affected and touched both me and my family ~ in just a short space of time! Here it is: http://rememberingthemoments2012.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/synchronicity.html Looking forward to having TM as a dear friend throughout my parenting journey.
With much love and blessings, Karen x
I just received my first print issue in the mail today. Just wanted to tell you how much I love it! In this community of separation-parenting, it’s wonderful to have support from a publication like yours.
Thanks! Jackie, Ohio, USA
We received the CD of Elena’s astrology reading, and Gaetan has been listening to it. He absolutely loves it. (I’m sure I will love it too, but have not yet got round to listening to it.) Gaetan finds it so amazing that he keeps reminding me of specific points and how it helps him understand her better. This is just so underrated, and I wish more people could discover your talents and the power of having the astrological theme of their children done. It’s very empowering, and helps to accept them more fully. We are very much looking forward to hearing again the other children’s readings.
Lots of love, and sunshine! Cath, Western Australia
I just wanted to drop you an email to say a couple of things. Firstly how much I am enjoying your books, Veronika. The Mystic Cookfire is wonderful, and has dramatically increased my repertoire! Whenever we need to do a shop now, I have that beside my shopping list to decide what we’re going to need for the week. I’m also reading The Birthkeepers, which is resonating deeply with me. I’m currently 12 weeks pregnant, and I was getting really stressed at the thought of an NHS midwife ‘caring’ for me. I have now made alternative arrangements and I am feeling much happier and relaxed. Secondly, I was wondering if there are any other TM subscribers on the Isle of Wight? (Editor’s note: yes there are) I’m really missing the Red Thread, and hadn’t realised how lucky I was to have such a beautiful space to go to every few weeks. It would be lovely if I could find that (or maybe create it) in our new home. I’ve been to a few home-education groups but I just seem to come away pining for Red Thread and TM readers! It really does tick all the boxes for me.
With love and best wishes, Marianne
I would like to thank you so much for the astrology readings you did for me and my daughter. They really gave me such a lot to think about, and affirmed much also ~ so much so I’m now putting together my first pregnancy yoga book! I’ll keep you posted how it goes. The discussion about her eating was also useful.
Much love to you all, Victoria
We’re hoping to come to camp again; it was such an amazing experience. I have ordered a couple of copies of The Mother for some new mummy friends as they’re needing some of your good guidance and assurance that it always provides, and the others are for my invaluable library of nurture. Whilst I’m writing, I did want to thank Veronika, your family and all those contributors who have made an impact on my life since becoming a mother. It has helped me forge my own path through motherhood, and allowed me to assist friends and family, notably my younger sister, who achieved a waterbirth with her first born son, Reece; something she never dreamed of at the beginning of her pregnancy or even thought of! TM camp opened a doorway to another sister and brought her back to her earthy roots. We experienced life in a truly inspiring way with kindred spirits. What a joy! We also found peace at a difficult transition in our lives through a blessing we held inspired completely by one of your articles on celebrations, so thank you for all your positive energies and new ways to travel lightly.
Sending you bountiful blessings, Natasha
Thank you for your amazing book, The Mystic Cookfire ~ it is now my BIBLE. In fact, recipe book does not cover it...it’s an approach to family life & nurturing, and we’re loving every minute of it! I have cooked at least two recipes a day since receiving it, and each has been delicious! This book, and The Nurtured Family, have reminded me that we, as parents, are creating lifelong memories of food and nurturing for our two little girls.
We welcomed our second little girl, Eveline Rose, into the world last October 7th, in water, in front of a glowing fire in our living room: a glorious and peaceful arrival. Your book, The Birthkeepers, was a constant inspiration to me throughout my pregnancy, and helped me to focus my energy inwards and trust my intuition, and in the end the amazing powerful force that is the female body.
I’m looking forward to the next copy of The Mother as I relish every moment of reading it. I only wish we were closer to Limetree Farm to attend the camp, but if anyone in Ireland is setting anything similar up, please pass on my email address.
With love & light, Nicola, Limerick, Ireland
I read Kathryn’s article re: large families, and was moved, inspired and hopeful that others who read it will be more understanding of large families and perhaps look at parenting in a different way.
JoAnne, Athens, Greece
I have read the latest issue of The Mother almost cover to cover and just passed them on to my (grown) girls. The piece on Large Families was the best ~ so well written and insightful. Telling that story is a gift to all those who will read it.
Tilda, Massachussetts, USA
It was lovely to come in from a hectic trip to York the other day to find the latest Mother magazine on the mat. I’m looking forward to having a proper read. Congratulations to all of you on your 50th issue, and 10 years of The Mother. As a relatively recent subscriber, I’m hoping for at least 10 more years to come! I’m sure I’m just one of many who would like to thank you for doing such amazing work.
Another wonderful edition ~ one of my favourite ever ~ thank you so much.
Thank you! Love the latest issue. I’m quite new to The Mother, and am so pleased to have found a like-minded forum/community.
Just wanted to say a huge thank you for yet another amazing issue of The Mother. Having been recently doubtful of my parenting methods due to constant fatigue (my 28 month old still breastfeeds a couple of times a night and my husband prefers the spare room to ensure he gets rest), the articles on sleep experts and the spirituality of breastfeeding gave me renewed momentum, after causing the usual empathetic tears; and the article on schooling galvanised my growing desire to home school, being written by a mainstream teacher, and so full of common sense backed by her personal experience in the education system. The Mother is a fantastic friend and teacher!! Keep up the good work.
Best wishes and much love, Lucy
I just had to write to say thank you for your magazine!! The articles What’s the Hurry? and Too Young For School just hit home with me. I have a one year old that used to sleep wonderfully, but after a bout of pneumonia and a short hospital stay, he’s had some issues staying asleep. Instead of letting him cry or getting upset the routine has changed, I’ve been able to embrace the fact he needs me and wants me and will cuddle with me right now, even if it IS at 2 am! Our 3.5 year old will not do that anymore, so I know just how fleeting these times are! I’m just so glad to see an article on this, how to do what works for you instead of what some “expert” says you have to do. I had a rough two years with our oldest, lots of waking and rocking, but oh how I love those memories now, and she sleeps just fine.
The other article I had to comment on was Too Young for School. We had started a Montessori program with our 3.5 year old that she loved, but she just wasn’t ready to be away from Mom and brother five days a week. She started acting out and throwing tantrums and basically being unpleasant. During the holiday break she went back to her happy self, and I knew then and there she was going to stay home where she belonged, and not go back.
I got caught up in the idea that she had to start school because she was that age, not really looking at if she was ready or not. We’re so much happier having her home, and I’m no longer in a rush to get her to school. I realised that everything my curious girl knows is something she’s learned at home, anyway, not at her few months at school. Thank you so much again! I’m excited to see a US office now, too. Thank you so much for being a voice I need to hear.
Thank you for The Drinks Are On Me!!
It came at the right time, to remind me that Nature knows best. I’ve enjoyed breastfeeding ever since I started, and I still love it…yet I started to doubt whether Samyo would sleep better if he wasn’t breastfed at night. And these thoughts came up after having read the book The Aware Baby by Aletha Solter, where she suggests to withdraw the breast and let the child cry, whilst being present and holding him with love. I was thrown off balance because she is an advocate of attachment parenting, too.
I’ve tried it a couple of times, and it didn’t feel right. So I kept breastfeeding as per usual. Now that I have read your book, I know my place, and I’m valuing every single time Samyo is at my breast, as it won’t last forever anyway! Thank you again, and I look forward to meeting you at camp!
Love and blessings, Valeria. Findhorn, Scotland.
Thank you for your continued work and effort in making and producing The Mother. When it arrives, it feels like my good friend has come to visit. I feel comforted and nurtured, and I relish every thought-provoking article. Much of what is written strengthens me and warms my heart and soul. Long may The Mother continue!
With love and best wishes, Maria.
I LOVE this magazine!!! Truly informative and inspiring!!!
Blessings, Gabrielle. USA
Love your magazine, though I don’t have children. It’s very inspiring and helpful for everyone. Much love and joy to you, Paul ~ keep up the great work! Chetna
Thank you dearest Veronika, for answering personally. The magazine arrived swiftly after your message. Thank you so very much for your amazing, a-ma-zing work. I love the way you write, your values and... WORDS LACK. I am grateful beyond words. THANK YOU.
All the very best to you and yours, Erika. Switzerland
Thank you. Thank you is all I can say. I reckon I might be the only woman in my neighbourhood who shares your beautiful views on mothering and life... Most of my friends/family just think I’m nuts, if not actually doing my daughter harm... Such a relief to be in the ‘company’ of like-minded souls xx Delia. (written on the TM Yahoo group)
Deepest thanks for creating the rich, soulful Mother. You bring such joy and magic into our house with your amazing mag!! Every time I receive my copy it speaks to me about just what I need to hear ~ and usually supports me in my parenting choices at just the right time!!
I live in rural Italy (Abruzzo) with my family, and at times I can feel very alone and different in my approach to parenting. But your words and wisdom give me food for thought, and help me feel part of a wider community of friends and conscious parents, wanting to create a more harmonious natural existence for our children. I would love to make contact with any subscribers in Italy, to extend The Mother community. Please get in touch with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Love and blessings, Isabel. Italy
I wanted to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed TM49. The article The Social Homeschooler was really relevant to us, as a family fairly new to home/unschooling. We’re constantly faced with the question of socialisation, so it was really interesting to read the experiences of someone who has actually gone through this. It has given me more confidence in our path. The article about the Assumption of Not Breastfeeding was fantastic, and really sums up what happens in West Cumbria Hospital. It has ‘Baby Friendly’ status, yet I have yoga mums letting me know that midwives are trying to persuade them not to talk to the Breastfeeding specialist!! The attitudes you can come across are so shocking, and unfortunately so ‘normal’. I’ve photocopied the article and passed it on to a couple of health visitors. The news about the American Mother is fabulous! How exciting. Warm wishes to you all.
Clare. West Cumbria, UK.
A few days ago I received my copy of The Mystic Cookfire and the back issues of TM I ordered! I’m so inspired again. I’m reading through your book and the three magazines at the same time! I think you could say that I’m addicted to TM. Out here in lonely mainstream territory, it’s extremely comforting to feel like there is a ‘tribe’ out there; individuals spread across the globe who feel, think and strive to live similarly. The personal note you wrote in the book also makes it quite special, Veronika. Thank you! Also, I was very happy to see that you’re supporting a South-African charity...
All my best to you and your family, Angela. South Africa
Editor’s note: For every copy of The Mystic Cookfire sold, we donate money to feed a South African child for a week. We support www.BananaAppeal.org
Dear Veronika, Paul, Bethany and Eliza, congratulations on 10 years of your wonderful publication, which enriches the lives of so many. We’ve learnt about a whole new world out there, full of strong families who trust their natural instincts, often going against the tide of common practice. It’s no coincidence that in the time we’ve been subscribers, our family has gained courage to listen to our hearts and choose a path towards conscious parenting. I learnt about the magazine after seeing your family in the television documentary Extraordinary Breastfeeding. I remember watching it with my boyfriend when it was first aired on television (it must have been some time ago now, since we haven’t owned a television in years and that boyfriend is now my husband of five years!), and we were both touched by many of the stories. Your family, in particular, stood out for us, not because of the breastfeeding, but due to the amazing relationship you had both shared with your girls. When we went on to become parents ourselves, and I was having some struggles breastfeeding our twins as toddlers, I remembered the programme and found it on the Internet....that led me to your website, and I discovered The Mother. My husband has recently started reading the magazine too, and he devoured TM49 before I even knew it had arrived!
When our older boys had a look at the cover of TM49, with the striking photograph of the baby on the shore, they mistook him for their baby brother (perhaps due to the amber necklace), and wondered why they had never seen pictures of themselves in “The Mother Book”, as they like to call it.
So we have chosen a couple of their favourites (and a few of mine, too) for the magazine.
Love and best wishes, Syenna
Editor’s note: I hope they love seeing themselves on the cover of this issue!
Thank you so much for the latest TM. Congratulations on the 10th anniversary. It’s consistently pioneering, nurturing and challenging. Great article on macrobiotics. The cover is delightful.
All our love, Alex and family.
My family and I are moving to the Nerang area on the Gold Coast of Australia.
I would love to get in touch with like-minded TM readers who live there. Please email me: email@example.com
Thank you so much!
With love, Stacey
Thank you so much for the latest issue of The Mother. There always seems to be something covered in the magazine that I am ‘currently’ grappling with... it is uncanny! This edition: the sugar issue. The day before the magazine arrived, I had taped a message to my kitchen cupboard saying ‘Stop eating Sugar!’ in an effort to end (newly realised) addictive behaviour, but was wondering how I should approach the issue. So then The Mother drops onto my doormat and a massive dose of aversion therapy (I knew it was ruining me but I had no idea how much it was ruining me!) kick-starts my efforts combined with some really great advice on how to wean myself, perfect! Thank you again for your kind reflections on my writing, it really has done wonders for my confidence and after reading The Mother for so many years now, it will be a very special day seeing my writing featured within its pages.
Read your editorial ~ beautiful as ever; Sara’s excellent piece on breastfeeding; and Semi-Conscious Mother ~ laugh out loud funny ~ love it!!
Cyprus is not as bad as Greece, but no economic crises will separate my Mother and I! I was on national TV a few weeks ago to promote full-term breastfeeding, and I mentioned Veronika (in Greek) and the breastfeeding documentary as proof that women can breastfeed for years.
Once again, thanks for all the groundbreaking...or rather, ground-honouring work you do.
Love, Erini. Cyprus.
I have just arrived home from hospital. The planned homebirth did not happen. Instead, the medics saved the mother’s life, as she was bleeding heavily and had a low-lying placenta. The baby was three weeks (or five weeks in some other countries) early. He weighed five pounds. When he was born via a c-section, he wanted to feed, but the contraptions around the mother prevented him from having his needs met. When he was expected to feed he was too exhausted and kept falling asleep on the breast. The midwives were concerned because he was so small and worried that his blood sugar would drop. They suggested giving him a little formula to “help” him. All that planning for the perfect birth was gone and the parents will be grieving for that birth. They had done so much to achieve their dream birth for their son. This would have been the final horror as they did not want their child to have artificial milk. Then came the words that really surprised the midwife. “Our son is having human milk. She is waiting for us outside, I will fetch her now”, said the father. He found me reading The Magical Child in the café. I had never expressed before, so it was a first for me. I donated enough milk for 48 hours. I watched a third child receive my milk. It was one of the most truly awesome moments of my life. Despite all that they had gone through, they had fulfilled their wish to breastfeed their child. Yet the most shocking part of this story is the fact that this huge university hospital had never known this to be done before. They had to cover themselves with signed, handwritten statements saying that all the parties involved understood the risk of infection. Perhaps they should consider a similar disclaimer for artificial milk, stating all the risks and nutritional inadequacies. But the paper might be too long for parents and staff to read!
I have returned home, so thankful for the homebirths I could give our boys. They snuggled in bed with their adoring mother and tandem fed to sleep, holding each others’ hands across my belly. I can’t help wondering why this practice is not available to all mothers and babies. I wasn’t a Supermum donating pints of milk to faraway neonatal units. I just gave 20 minutes-worth of expressed milk to my friends’ baby. Yet it made such a difference to a new life. Perhaps we can start a new trend of “help a new breastfeeding mum”. If we offered this service to all our pregnant friends and they took up the offer if needed, we could quietly change so many lives. It cost nothing, just a few hours of waiting around. If I hadn’t been needed, I would have quietly gone home. As my friend so succinctly put it. “Anyone would have thought that wet-nursing was from the dark ages. Come to think of it, I suppose it is!” I hope this letter can be used to inspire other breast-feeding mums. Thank you for all that you do and for providing me with an outlet to reach other mums out there.
Love to your whole family. Moira
Just last week I was thinking about and missing my Mother magazine. I look forward to every issue. Thank you for the brilliant magazine. It’s truly inspiring. I have included a couple of pictures of myself and my 21 month old baby, Gaia, feeding on the beach.
Blessed be, Nicole Ima Klonaris. Victoria, Australia.
We are a French/English couple with two-year-old daughter looking to set up or join a community. We want to live simply, sustainably and creatively with other families and individuals. Looking after each other and looking after the Earth, doing the usual: grow veg, chop wood, carry water type thing and earning our living from home. We plan to home educate, and would really like other families to join us in this. We want to live in an alcohol-free environment, and some time in the future may foster teenagers. We’re currently looking at land and property in France (warmer and cheaper than UK) but would also consider moving to the UK. If this appeals, please get in touch for further info. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Lizzie, Stephane and Pema
I recently read Life Without School, and even though I am so busy chasing my 10-month old around and barely have any time for myself, I read whenever I could and just devoured the book. My husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye on the schooling issue, but it was such an inspiration to read your family’s story; and maybe one day my family can try that path as well. For now, I am enjoying feeling inspired, and dreaming of the life that I want and continually striving for it, step by step. Every time The Mother comes in the mail, I get the biggest smile on my face. It always makes my day. Sometimes I feel isolated from other people like myself, but I know that you are all out there and your magazine makes me feel connected. I am so happy that I found it!
Love and light, Kelly. Israel
You mentored me some time ago when I was going through a really difficult patch, and I apologise for not having been in contact since then to let you know how I am. Your warm words and generous thoughts meant such a lot at a time when I felt so at sea, so very belatedly ‘thank you’. It has taken me a long time but I have finally started to feel as though I am coming out the other side and am growing into my new clothes! Part of the healing process for me has been discovering my ability to mother in an instinctive way and understanding my own rhythms and abilities. The other part of my healing process has been writing.
With kind regards and many thanks, Clare
In regards to TM48, Joanna’s article on vaccination may give UK readers the impression that there is a national law, policy or training standard which means that social workers should consider parents who are single, have depression or a disability a risk to their children. This is not true. Social workers are required to ask parents if there are any physical or mental health problems or disabilities which impact on their ability to parent.
I think it’s important that your readers know this so that they don’t experience unnecessary fear or accept any discrimination believing it to be official policy. If anyone is discriminated against by any professional because of being single, having depression, a disability or for any other reason they should make a complaint to the relevant body.
If any parent would like to know about the laws and policies which should be followed by social workers, they can look up information (widely available on the web) on The Children Act 1989, The All Wales Child Protection Procedures, Care Council for Wales, and Care Council for England (the last two are the regulatory bodies for social workers, which set out the standards they must adhere to, including issues of discriminating and prejudice).
I didn’t say that it was official policy, merely that some misguided social workers may use these reasons to cite child-protection concerns, which is my personal experience and what I’ve heard about from other parents through my charity, Vaccine Awareness Network. It’s also known that disabled parents are statistically more likely to be known to Social Services, or to have a case opened by Social Services, or have their children removed by Social Services. For instance, this paper by Leeds University says:
‘There is a small but growing body of international research on parenting by people with learning difficulties. Reviews of this literature (Andron & Tymchuk, 1987; Booth & Booth, 1993; Dowdney & Skuse, 1993; Llewellyn, 1990; Sheerin, 1997; Tymchuk, 1990) show that these families often receive a raw deal from the statutory services, characterised by an ‘over zealous’ approach to the assessment of risks (Social Services Inspectorate, 1999) and an underinvestment in the kind of services and supports that might enable them to bring up their children.’ (http://www.leeds.ac.uk/disability-studies/archiveuk/Booth/parents%20with%20lea%20diff.pdf).
I worked with a family where the mother suffered arthritis. She had been very vocal during the birth of her child about not vaccinating, so Social Services opened a file on her, took medical custody of the child, and insisted that the parents go to a centre where their parenting skills could be observed. They were prevented from using cloth nappies and were forced to use disposables because the social workers said it was unhygienic; they were forced to feed their child jarred baby food rather than the organic home-cooked things the mother wanted. It took several months to have the medical custody transferred back to them and to prove that the osteoarthritis of the knee would not prevent parenting. I, through the charity, was also threatened with legal action by Social Services for mentioning the child by name when he was the subject of a care order. Thankfully he was not vaccinated but the mother was so upset by what had happened she told me she would not have any more children.
I myself have a disability and have been a single parent with depression at various points in my life, and have had cases opened on me on numerous occasions. I’ve had to go through interviews with social workers about not vaccinating. I was reported by NHS Direct due to having to get an ambulance after a severe kidney infection that meant I couldn’t move because of the pain. There was no-one else home at the time, so the nurse said that my child should be cared for by social services because I was immobile. On another occasion, my daughter was diagnosed with a disability, so we were referred to Social Services to get information on support groups, and instead the social worker got irritated that my children were home educated, telling me to investigate local schools. When I refused, she reported me to Social Services. They said in a letter that they thought I was home educating so that my children could stay home and ‘care’ for me. I got a solicitor, wrote them a legal letter and told them that home education and disability were not child-protection issues and to check my children’s reports with the education authority for evidence of my children’s education. I also told them that if I had to be interviewed, it would be in the presence of the solicitor, who would be recording everything. They wrote back weeks later and told me they had no grounds to visit, so wouldn’t. I then took it to the government, where the ombudsman found that ‘there had been a degree of prejudice’ in regards my disability and alternative lifestyle choices, but he refused to get the council to compensate me or to re-train staff.
Although there is nothing legal singling out such parents, there is also nothing legal to protect them. The disability discrimination act 2005 does not have a section on parenting, so there’s no protection against discrimination in the parenting role, and social workers are allowed to ask questions about disability if there is a child involved, so you can see where opportunities for grilling and unfair treatment of such parents come in.
I did attempt to get the law changed, but it requires an MP to help, and the MP refused to reply despite repeated writing to her.
The Prime Minister’s secretary also told me they have no plans to bring in any laws regarding discrimination toward disabled parents.
I would still very much like to do this if anyone would help me change the law.
I realise that some social workers are kind, helpful and fair, but some aren’t, and if you’re in any of those groups or you don’t vaccinate, it can be down to the personal opinion of the social worker as to how you get treated.