Parenting

10 Parenting Hacks That Have Served Me Well

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in Parenting | 11 comments

10 Parenting Hacks That Have Served Me Well

When we had our first child, Mike and I were living in Luang Prabang, in Northern Laos. There was no such thing as a mother’s group. In fact, there were very few other mothers who spoke English, and at that stage my Lao was—and I’m being gentle in this assessment—terrible. I’ve been a mother for just over four years now, and we have a two year old, as well. After being so isolated during the first two years of my journey as a parent, I’m continually surprised and delighted by just how many good ideas I can glean from hearing or reading about other parent’s practices. In the...

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Good Will Come

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Parenting | 65 comments

Good Will Come

  Almost four years ago, when my firstborn, Dominic, was five months old, my mother in law was carrying him down the stairs of our house in Northern Laos. She slipped and fell. Dominic’s knee hit the wood. His femur broke. Luckily, the one X-ray machine in town was working that day. Luckily, the one X-ray technician was also working. Unluckily, by the time we held the film up against the sunlight and saw the sharp angles of that small bone in all the wrong places, the one flight to Bangkok that day had already left. Even with good emergency medical insurance—which we had—the...

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The Courage To Say Yes

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Parenting | 0 comments

The Courage To Say Yes

When I told Marianne I’d write a post about the courage to say yes, I had it all planned out. I was going to start the piece by referencing saying “no.” There would be a brief anecdote about how my two-year-old’s main mission in life seems to be finding new and creative ways to provoke me into using that very word. Then I’d talk about how my inbox is full of people telling me to “Say No, No, No All The Way To Success,” and how my new book, From Stranger To Lover, looks at how the dynamics of meeting someone online conspire to lower our inhibitions, encourage casual intimacy, and...

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Helping toddlers and young children cope with change and moving overseas

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in Parenting | 0 comments

Helping toddlers and young children cope with change and moving overseas

I’m back on the writer’s schedule for A Life Overseas after my “maternity leave”. Here’s today’s post… If you have a toddler or young child and you’ve moved overseas, you might have learned (as I am learning) that the adage that kids are resilient doesn’t mean that change doesn’t cost them. Most children might be generally adaptable, but many are firmly attached to valued routines and known, safe spaces. Moving comes at an energy and emotional cost to young children, just as it does to adults. It’s been a week today since I arrived back in...

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These are the early days

Posted by on Aug 28, 2013 in Parenting | 18 comments

These are the early days

Alex is 2.5 weeks old today. What have the last two weeks looked like? Well … we’ve all been in new baby heaven. Everything smells like talcum powder and fresh milk. We take turns cooing over his plump little cheeks and blue eyes and soaking in his adorableness. We tell Dominic to kiss the baby for the sheer pleasure of watching how gently he touches his brother. We wish Alex would spend more time awake, looking at us. It’s been bliss. We spend most of the time lounging around on picnic blankets in the sunshine looking like this … Or, rather, it’s been like that for, oh, ten...

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Introducing Alexander McKay Wolfe

Posted by on Aug 13, 2013 in Parenting, Posts with photos | 39 comments

Introducing Alexander McKay Wolfe

It’s been a big week in the McKay-Wolfe world. Mike arrived from Laos last Saturday, much to the delight of wife and son. Then, Dominic turned two on Friday.  He didn’t really seem to care that his parents vanished midway through his second birthday party on Saturday morning, although we suspect that in years to come both boys will be grateful they missed sharing a birthday by about 18 hours. Now, the news we’ve all been waiting for. Alexander McKay Wolfe was born on Saturday August 10, 2013 at 5:19pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time). 3.78kg (8lb 5oz) 49cm (19.3in) Baby is healthy...

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Twelve (very serious) tips on how to get your picky child to eat

Posted by on Apr 30, 2013 in Parenting | 23 comments

Twelve (very serious) tips on how to get your picky child to eat

 Since Dominic was born twenty months ago, I’ve gotten good at letting most unsolicited parenting advice roll off my back. I can shrug and smile now when people tell me my child is tired or cold, or when total strangers look offended when Dominic doesn’t respond to their overtures with open-armed affection and kisses on demand. However, there’s one parenting mantra that people trot out that I could quite happily never hear again. That line is: “When a child gets hungry enough, they’ll eat.” This really pushes my buttons. You see, Dominic is what you might call a picky eater...

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Timeless Choices

Posted by on Apr 8, 2013 in Life in Laos, Parenting | 8 comments

Timeless Choices

Christmas was just a couple of weeks ago, right? I remember thinking that I needed to write a post on books I’d loved in 2012, set some creative goals for 2013, and find a great birthday present for Mike to make up for the fact that my Christmas presents consisted of some basil seeds, my old broken kindle, and a child’s toy with a bite taken out it. But now it’s April. I still need to do all of that, and Mike’s birthday was in the beginning of March. I’m taking a deep, soothing breath and telling myself that this is to be expected when you live in a small town whose slogan is...

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When messy is good

Posted by on Sep 3, 2012 in Life in Laos, Parenting | 2 comments

When messy is good

Dominic’s latest trick is to waddle over to the shoe basket, dig until he finds a tiny shoe, and then carry it over and drop it in front of me. Then he plops down on his bottom and holds his foot out. If I don’t move quickly enough to please him – i.e. immediately – he kicks me, points imperiously to the door, or screams. Or all three. He loves going outside. I have to admit, I love it less. It’s hot here at the moment – a steamy, sticky, hot. And Dominic is so unsteady on his newly-shod feet that he has to hold my hand to get anywhere safely. Dominic, of course, doesn’t have...

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Dear Dad, Love Dominic

Posted by on Jul 26, 2012 in Funny, Parenting | 0 comments

Dear Dad, Love Dominic

Dear Dad, Mum said that since we haven’t seen each other for almost three weeks now and you’re all by yourself in Sri Lanka at the moment, it would be nice of me to write and tell you all the news Well. Important things first. You must tell Mum to stop putting me down on that horrible green furry stuff that’s just everywhere outside. It makes no sense. She scolds me for ripping leaves off the plant in the kitchen, and she doesn’t want me picking things up off the floor and putting them in my mouth, but she regularly abandons me to whatever might be lurking in that filthy fuzzy carpet...

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