Tag Archives: children

Welcome New Mama

Dear Mama.

Today is a special day. It is your birthday. The crossing over the threshold. A new role. A new life. A new initiation. You are Mother.

Please don’t miss the sacredness of this day.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the swollen breasts, sore body and heart that has just been broken open. It’s ok. You don’t know what to do. It feels so scary. It feels so beautiful. It feels so perfect. You are as close to Spirit as you can get right now. Inhale the smell of pure Love. In your arms.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the crooked nose and matty hair. You, with the thighs that are too big. You, with the blemishes on your skin.

Your baby doesn’t care. Your baby only sees your beauty. Your baby only sees the love that is bursting from your heart. Treasure the vulnerability you are feeling right now. Your greatest strength lies there.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the insecurities and bad moods. You, with the PMS. You, with the fear of failure. You, who gets things wrong. You, who shouts at people and eats ice cream in the middle of the night.

Your baby doesn’t care. Your baby only sees your beauty. Your baby only sees the love that is bursting from your heart. Treasure the vulnerability you are feeling right now. Your greatest strength lies there.

Your baby has chosen you. Yes, you!

You, with the strength of the Great Mother flowing through your veins. You, with all the Mothers before you living inside you. You, with the love of Mother Mary. You, with the compassion of Quan Yin. You, with the creativity of Saraswati. You, with the fierceness of Durga.

You. Beautiful Mother. Sacred, blessed Woman. The keeper of life.

I bow to you, new Mother. I believe in you. You are chosen to raise this child. Let Love guide you and you cannot fail.

Blessings to you on this new day.

The day a new Mother is born.


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Being a first-time mama is an amazing experience. The New Mama Welcome Pack blog hop is a celebration of this life changing event! Follow the links to discover more unmissable advice, stories and essential tips. And if you’re a new mama who wants to rock motherhood without guilt, overwhelm or losing yourself, check out the New Mama Welcome Pack here.

New Mama Welcome Pack / Lotte Lane / Dreaming Aloud / Zhendria / Birthing in Conscious Choice / Natalie Garay / Eli Trier / Knecht Ruprecht / Lise Meijer / Naomi Goodlet / A Lifestyle By Design / Story of Mum / Like a Bird / Holistic Mama / Birth Geek / Joyful Parenting / Stroller Packing / My Healthy Beginning / Mums and More / Kate Beddow – Growing Spirits / Ellen Nightingale / Stacie Whitney / Maternity Leavers / Photography for Busy Parents / Close Enough To Kiss / Atelier Susana Tavares / Offbeat Family / Katie m. Berggren ~ Painting Motherhood / Winship Wellness Blog / Liberate From Weight / Jessica Cary / Art + Craft / Raising Playful Tots / Peaceful Mothering / Play Activities / Lauren Nenna / Nurture You / The Adventure Mama / Be Wise Be Healthy / b.a.d.momGoodmom / Doula in Your Pocket / Making Mom Strong / Adrienn Csoknyay / Joyful Parents / Alison Hummel / Simple Solutions for Photos / Lynne Newman / Euphoric Birth / Mumpreneur Mentor / A Walk in the Clouds / Parenting on the Fence / MiaMily


How to create a garden like Claude Monet

Hi there beautiful!

Today I would love to tell you about how you can create the garden of your dreams.

I have inherited a massive garden in the house that we are living in at the moment. I am sure that there are much bigger gardens out there, but this one has felt quite overwhelming to me. We live an hour outside of the city, in a semi rural area.

It is beeeeeeeautiful. We live on a dirt road, we have kangaroos hopping outside and beautiful Australian gum trees all around.

I really do feel like I am in heaven.

You see, beauty is one the most important things in my life. I live and breathe my life to create beauty all around me. It fills my soul.

The problem has been that this incredible garden that I have inherited is a lot of work. So, for the last year, I have sort of just let it deteriorate.  it wasn’t in the best shape when we moved in, so I used that as my excuse not to do anything about it.

Have you ever done that? Felt so overwhelmed by something that you just leave it.

I am a recovering perfectionist and the typical tendency of perfectionists is to procrastinate. We procrastinate and procrastinate and then things become so overwhelming that we panic. The 3 p’s of perfectionists: perfectionism… procrastination… panic.

Not a good combination, is it?

The thing is that we are never complete. Nothing can ever be perfect. It can only be perfect when it is finished. And nothing is ever finished.

Everything is a beautiful, ever evolving process. When we stop growing, we die. Not that anything ever dies, energy just transforms, but that is is topic for another day, ha!

Anyway, I realised that if I wanted to create Monet’s garden at Givenry, I would have to start somewhere. (Yes, that is my dream, to have a garden like that!)


I have started just being in my garden. Just going out there with no agenda. Seeing what calls me that day.

I have tidied up my vegetable garden. I have put up a mini greenhouse which has been sitting in a box for over a year, I have planted seedlings, I have started building up my soil, I have been mulching, I have planted sunflower seeds in the shape of a teepee and I have started nurturing my compost bin and worm farm.

And when I say I, I actually mean me and the children. As a mother, you know that your children follow you wherever you go. I like to think of my children like little puppies following me around. Always happy, excited and wanting to know how they can be involved in my latest project.

So, Annie and Xavier have been doing all of this with me. And they have been inspired by the garden just as much as me.

It took Monet 40 years to create his garden. He had 8 children helping him and 5 full time gardeners. I have 2 very small children and an occasional helper in Sohail, who works in his corporate job in the city all day.

So, I may not achieve Monet’s garden in the next year, but I can appreciate the beauty in creating it, all the same.

It is never done. It will always be changing. And it will always need my attention.

One of my teachers says that when you step outside, all your problems disappear. Truer words have not been said. The smell of the earth, the feel of the soil in your fingers (I very rarely wear gardening gloves), the crunch of the leaves under your feet, the sounds of the birds, the wind. The appreciation of the passing of the seasons that can only be appreciated when we spend time in nature every day.

So, please, gorgeous one, get yourself and your children outside!

Plant a tomato plant. Or a box of beautiful flowers. Learn how to grow your own food. A wonderful place to start is with Nicola Chatham. She has got great tips, e-books and courses that will take all the perceived hard work out of gardening for you.

Whatever you do, just do something in the garden! Even if you only have a windowsill. Connect with nature. Nature is the ultimate healer. Nature connects you right back to your soul.

It won’t be perfect. Especially when you have little people around you. Little peeps who want to do everything you are doing. It will take twice as long. It will not look like you envision. You will kill a few plants. You will cook a few worms (guilty as charged).

And you will be forever changed because of it.

So, just DO IT!

Go, go, go…

Get off Facebook and this blog and smell the earth. Feel the wind in your hair. Get some cow poo from the local farmer and go and love your soil.

Enjoy your connection.

Blessings to you.

Would you like to subscribe to the Peaceful Mothering newsletter? Join the Peaceful Mothering tribe and get Olga’s updates. Click here.

The one thing you need to do to be a better mother

I have just spent a whole day at a women’s yoga and meditation workshop. A whole day to come home to myself. I have a wonderful husband who made dinner and spent the whole day with my children. I came back to a happy home and I put the children to bed with a full tummy and a happy heart.

It wasn’t always so easy. When I first started going to yoga on a Saturday morning (for an hour and a half), Annie would cry at the door while I was leaving. Sohail was supportive of me going, but didn’t really “get” why I had to go and do something on my own. The yoga brought up so many things that had been accumulating in my body for years, that, for the first year, I would come home and sleep for the rest of the day. I would feel very tender, I hated relaxation. I didn’t notice a difference in my life for a while, but I kept going –  because I felt better after each class, and that was enough.


This morning, when I was getting ready to go, Xavier (4 years old) was upset that I was going. “Please don’t go mommy, I will miss you!” As he was hanging onto my leg.

Me: “But Xavier, doesn’t mommy always come back much happier when she goes to yoga?”

Xavier: “Yes.”

Me: “And don’t you want mommy to be happy?”

Xavier: “Yes.”

Me: “So I will see you later. Maybe you can send me a rainbow while I am there and I will send one back to you.”

Xavier: “I don’t know how to send you a rainbow, but I can draw one. Bye Mommy, I am going to go and draw you a rainbow!!”

Often, our children just need someone, or something to help them with the transition of us leaving. That, along with us knowing that we are actually serving our children by us taking some time to do something that brings us deep pleasure.

Sometimes we need to take a leap of faith. Even though it may be hard to stand in front of our family and say that our needs are important, we do it anyway. We don’t know how it will make our lives better, but we intuitively know that it will make a difference. We brace ourselves for a bit of an uncomfortable ride as we change the rules about how available we are. Our partners and children start to juggle their expectations and home responsibilities.

And, all of a sudden, it just works. It is expected that mommy also has needs. I know it is hard to do. As mothers, we are wired to take care of everyone else. And when we start taking care of us, we sort of don’t know what to do. And our families sort of freak out in the beginning. One of the women at the workshop today is entering her menopause years. She was listening to me talking about the importance of self care, even when we have small children.

She looked at me and said that she wished that she had made herself more of a priority when her family was young.

So, I encourage you to take the step in the direction of your heart. What is your heart’s deepest yearning? What will give you the greatest pleasure? Start doing it. Our nature as women is to receive pleasure.

Look for pleasure in your life wherever you can find it. Start planning your day, based on how it can nourish you, instead of basing it on a to do list.

Watch your life transform overnight.

Blessings to you.

Would you like to subscribe to the Peaceful Mothering newsletter? Join the Peaceful Mothering tribe and get Olga’s updates. Click here.

How to survive the first year with a new baby – part two


Following on from the previous post, I am sharing a few practical things that really helped me in the first year, but that I still live by today. As much as I recognise that my children are on their own journeys, I also recognise that one of my roles as woman is that of their mother. It is my responsibility to create an environment that is safe and nurturing for them. And the needs of a baby are very different to the needs of an older child and that of an adult. Babies are still coming into their bodies. They are literally not yet living in their bodies, as they are so intimately connected to the spirit world. This takes many years, so it is very important to protect their senses.

Some practical things that I did when my children were small and some that I still apply today.

  • I didn’t cook for a year. Every weekend, Sohail would cook up a whole batch of meals and freeze them for the week. We ate a lot of curry that year! I would just make a pot of rice at dinner time and we were set. This was one thing that I didn’t have to worry about for the day and freed me up to be more present with my children. Once he stopped doing that (I was seriously over curry, lol!), I expressed huge gratitude to him for what he had done and started making dinner during nap time. Children demand our attention all the time and it is very difficult to be present for them when we are cooking, especially when they are so little. Another thing to consider is the energy that goes into the preparation of the food. If you are rushed and scattered with your attention when preparing a meal, that scattered energy goes into the food and into your family’s bodies. I think it is much better for us to prepare meals in a calm and peaceful manner. If I let my children cook with me, I am prepared for it to be messy, time consuming and not perfect. If I want a perfect meal, I make it when I am alone.
  • I kept my children away from the shops. I tried to go grocery shopping by myself and definitely tried to keep them (and myself!) out of shopping centres. Shopping centres have a very scattered energy. People go there for retail therapy. Guess what they leave behind when they finish shopping? Babies and children are super sensitive to all energies and they pick up on all those energies people drop off at the shopping centres. The fluorescent lights are also extremely draining of our life force energy. So, not only do shopping centres drain us, they drain our babies too. I would send Sohail shopping, or go on my own, or, if I was to take the children, I would go to a farmers market, which is outside in the fresh air and is a much more natural way of interacting with the elements. Other than the draining energy of artificial environments, another reason I like to go shopping alone is so that I can concentrate. It is very distracting to go shopping with little ones who are overstimulated by all the sights and sounds of the shopping experience. I find I get very snappy with my children if they come shopping with me. I need to focus my energy in too many places and it is not fun for me or for them. Obviously, I am not perfect and there were times when my babies did come to the shopping centres with me. There are still those days, because I am not the most organised in my kitchen. I frequently run out of bread and milk! We live in the modern world and that is just part of life, isn’t it?
  • I let my babies move as much as possible. Babies are trying to figure out the world and are learning how to get into their bodies. It is so so important to let them have as much physical freedom as possible. They need to develop their gross motor skills and they cannot develop them when they are sitting all the time. It is so frustrating for them to be strapped into car seats and prams. I didn’t use my pram very much. We walked to a lot of places, VERY SLOWLY. My little ones were happier and I was more relaxed because I wasn’t trying to force them to stay in a pram all the time. I also loved the use of the sling as a way to literally be heart to heart when there was a need to travel somewhere, on foot.
  • I didn’t do anything. I stayed home. Children do not need to be taken to baby gym, baby Mozart, baby play dates, baby chess class. Babies and children need to have the time and space to find their place in the world. They do not need a special environment or class to do that. Their own body knows exactly what to do. They do not need to make friends. Friendships only really start developing at the age of 6 and 7. Up until then, babies and children need to be with their mothers primarily and then branch out into their relationships with their fathers, siblings and extended families. They need the security of knowing where their home is. We, as mothers are like the big ship and they are the tug boats. Always connected, with the rope being loosened a little bit at a time, over the years.
  • Having said that, it is crucial to maintain a support structure as a new mother. It can be very isolating being at home with our little ones, especially because we don’t live in traditional societies like we used to. I made sure to keep in contact with my friends and family as a support. There is nothing worse than locking ourselves up in our homes when our little ones are small and then when they go off to school, we have no friends because we have not maintained our friendships. Mothers need other mothers, this is so important. I would encourage all new mothers to get their partners, mothers or anyone else to mind their children at home while they go out for a cup of tea with a friend – often!
  • I let a lot of things go. I accepted that my house would not be in the perfect state that I would like. I had three goals for each day. The first was to do one load of washing each day. The second was to unpack the dishwasher and the third was to get dinner on the table. Anything more than that was a bonus. I got a cleaner. I still have her. I love her to the world and back. I take the help in whatever way I can. We are not supposed to do this on our own. It is not the way nature has designed it.
  • In short, I really simplified my life. I find that the more I simplify, the happier I am and the happier my family is. New motherhood is an incredible journey into ourselves. Our children are the mirrors for us. They hold up all the things we don’t love about ourselves for us to see and love us through our imperfections. What an in incredible gift.

Do you have any pearls of wisdom to share with a new mother that would encourage her on this incredible journey?

I would love to know. Sharing is healing and your words could inspire someone else. Your words are important, please do not keep them to yourself.

Blessings to you.

Would you like to subscribe to the Peaceful Mothering newsletter? Join the Peaceful Mothering tribe and get Olga’s updates. Click here.

How I overcame postnatal depression

Did you know that an estimated 13% of mothers experience post natal depression? That is quite a high amount and I think that there is still quite a stigma about depression in our society. I am not sure if my depression could be called post natal depression, as I only started dealing with the effects a couple of months after the birth. Nonetheless, I will share my story of how I overcame post natal depression, or just depression.

I am wondering where to start, because normally, the beginning is actually the middle. My story is much older than the symptom of the depression, but I will tell the story from the point at which seems relevant at this moment.

I had always wanted to be a mother. Always. I have a really big heart, I have a lot of love to share. My maternal urge was always very, very deep. It is not like that for all women, but for me, it was strong. As soon as I had finished my post graduate exams and passed my final exam as a Chartered Accountant, I was overjoyed. I was overjoyed because I knew that I was free to have a baby. I went off the pill immediately. I started reading books about how to prepare my body for conception. I loved Patrick Holford’s Optimum Nutrition Before, During and After Pregnancy. It laid a big foundation for how I eat to this day. I didn’t have to prepare my body very long, I fell pregnant in a month!

I was overjoyed. The pregnancy was beautiful. Easy. Blissful.

Linkwood (2)

The day that Annie was born was incredible. I had an elective caesarean because Annie was a breech baby. (A few years after she was born, I read that breech babies stay that way to stay close to their mother’s hearts. That resonated deeply with me.) To be honest, I was relieved that there was a reason for me to have an elective caesarean. I was so disconnected from my feminine essence. I thought that natural birth was disgusting and primitive. I was living a very glamorous life in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, the city with the highest rate of caesarean sections in the world. There is a term for women like me at the time: “Too posh to push.” I had a friend who was in labour and the baby was almost out and yet they still performed a caesarean section. That is just the culture over there.

I recovered very quickly and brought my baby home on new years eve. I struggled to breastfeed her and she had colic. It was not easy. And yet, I was happier than I had ever been in my life. I was home with my baby and not at work, in the job that would drain the life out of me.

When she was four months old, I had to go back to work. For financial reasons, it was not possible for me to stay home and she went to an incredible day care centre where she was loved and cared for beautifully. I, on the hand did not feel loved, or cared for.

I hated my job. I did not get along with the people, my boss was really difficult. I was miserable. I had been miserable for years. I had chosen a career that my soul did not want. I had studied for seven years for something that I did not want. I had spent a huge part of my life pushing against my self. I struggled all the way through university. I struggled through my articles. I came home exhausted. I didn’t know how miserable I was until I was separated from my baby.

You see, my true desire in my life was to nurture life. To live in tune with my own inner rhythms. To connect with another human being on a truly intimate level. To be at home. To be in nature. To live creatively from my soul. I had spent years and years shutting that down.

And it all came crashing down when the contrast of the life I had had a glimpse of, was too big, compared to the life I had created for myself in my job. I ended up seeing a therapist and my doctor prescribed Prozac. I realised in the therapy that I had to get better for my daughter. It was the moment that I realised that if I was to be any kind of mother to my daughter, I had to take care of myself.

It was the beginning of this blog.

It was the beginning of Peaceful Mothering.

I was not peaceful. I was raging inside. I had a life I hated and I hated myself for it. You see, depression is just anger that gets pushed down. We would much rather deal with a sad mother, than a raging mother. We do not want to see mothers expressing emotions. We want to see mothers being calm, peaceful and loving. Never losing their cool. Always composed.

How many times have you heard negative statements being made about women being too emotional? We do not think it is acceptable to be anything other than “nice’.

Quite a big ask, if you ask me. When I say that we want “nice” mothers, I mean me, too. I did not want to face myself. I was so disconnected from myself, that I did not even know what I wanted. It has been a process of many years to know what I want. It is an ever evolving process.

My own mother died in the midst of my healing from post natal depression. Luckily I was seeing my therapist when she died. I was not ready to be the matriarch of the family and yet it brought even more freedom to my life.

With my own mother no longer physically with me, I was forced to use my inner compass even more. Three months after she died, I left my job. I found a much better company. It was still not my dream job and I was still not at home with my baby, but, it was progress. It’s always one step at a time.

Somewhere along the path, I stopped with the Prozac. I always turn to natural therapies first. And yet, I have a great appreciation for western medicine. The drugs cleared my mind enough to deal with what was underlying. The drugs did not fix me. I fixed me. The drugs were there to support me. I was brave enough to look at what was underneath.

So great was my love for my daughter.

I did not want her growing up with an unhappy mother. It was then that I realised that unhappy mothers create unhappy children. It was then that I realised that I was teaching my daughter through my actions. It was then that I realised how incredibly intuitive children are. It was then that I realised that by not fixing myself, I was not only hurting myself, but, I was also hurting my daughter.

It was then that I realised that I am the only one who is responsible for what I manifest in my life. The depression came on because I was unhappy in the life that I had created. It was not put on me by genetics or any other external condition.

It could only heal if I owned it as mine. If I took full responsibility for it. I could spend my life blaming my boss, the company, my parents for the career I hated; or I could take my power back and own my life.

The depression was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. Without that darkness, I would not have cried out for the light.


I now live in another country. I don’t have a corporate job anymore. I have my babies at home with me. I am studying to be a yoga teacher. I live my life according to my feminine rhythms. I have a beautiful home. I have an incredible relationship with my husband.

I love my life.

And I am not depressed.

I overcame my depression by deciding to be happy. I overcame my depression by deciding that I mattered. I overcame my depression by putting myself first.

I have heard that post natal depression affects certain types of women. Women who want to be in control. Perfectionists. That was me.

Did you know that those are masculine qualities? Feminine qualities are qualities of allowing and receiving. Women are natural creators, it is our true essence. Life literally flows through us.

I was not letting my life flow. I would not even let my baby flow through my vagina. I was so scared to face myself as a woman that I lived my life as a man. I see now, that the more I let my life flow, the happier I become.

Life does not happen to us. We make our life happen. I am so happy to be consciously creating my life.

I wonder if you have had any challenging times in your life that have turned out to be a great blessing? I wonder if you have considered how powerful you are in that you create your own life?

I would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Blessings to you.