Author Archives: nmarshall

I bought myself a Mothers Day present this year – a necklace with an engraving of a tree on it. Around the bottom of the tree the names of all five of us in our family are engraved, myself my … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

So we’re supposed to be in Spring apparently – clocks have sprung forward, daffodils are springing up all over, people’s moods are lighter as the days are longer and there’s that general feeling of a new season emerging. However just … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve been mulling over the word risk this week. There are many things in life that require an amount of risk and I’ve discovered that it’s actually everything! Getting out of bed in the morning there’s always the chance of … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

There’s not much peace around me at the moment. Many of my adoption friends are finding life particularly challenging with their children and the general pressures of life. I too am finding that those moments of pure peace are few … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Leave a comment

‘The toughest thing you ever did could well be the best thing you ever did.’  Our blog buddies title this week and one I could write on from a few different angles but I’ve decided on one. This week in … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

“The way you do anything is the way you do everything”. Unknown I’ve heard this phrase many times over the last few years since I’ve been working for myself and every time I hear it I think “yes that’s right”. … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Working for yourself can be stressful at times, it can also be exciting, invigorating and down right fulfilling. Since I left the Corporate world six years ago to adopt our children it’s been a roller coaster of emotions with varying … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“Fair is not everyone getting the same but everyone getting what they need” “It’s not fair” must be the most well used phrase by children all over the world – along with “why”, “I’m bored” and “are we there yet?” … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

‘I seldom end up where I want to go but I always end up where I need to be’ is the title of our blog buddies challenge this week and it made me think of a blog I wrote a … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Fun, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

These lyrics to a song by The Feeling always jump out at me when I hear the song – why is that I wonder? Well I’m always amazed when I hear stories of people who’ve overcome horrendous pasts to become … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Stomp, stomp, stomp up the stairs, bang goes the bedroom door, crash go the toys as they fly around the room……a familiar sound in our house I’m afraid. Of course this is following a load of shouting and screaming about … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The balance between unrealistic expectations and hoping for the best is sometimes had to strike with adopted children. I am forever trying to temper my expectations of what my children can do with the reality of their difficulties. This week … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas is all about presents isn’t it? How many you have, how much people spend, whether so and so bought you a present or not? – No …… maybe not. I wonder if there’s more to gift giving and receiving … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Fun | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friends are really important to most of us. Being able to spend time with someone who makes you laugh, understands where you’re coming from and supports and encourages you when things are tough is amazing. Over the years I’ve been … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I have been overwhelmed with a feeling of sadness and grief these last few weeks. Not for myself actually but for my children. A few things have happened that have really brought it home to me just how deeply saddening … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s your story? I love hearing people’s stories on the radio or on TV. To hear what’s happened to them in their life and how it’s significant to them, i.e. that it’s changed them. I wonder why that’s so interesting … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

‘Life is a series of problems that we must solve – one then the next then the next until we die’. – Downton Abbey A very depressing quote from the Grandmother in Downton Abbey last week – for those who watch … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve realized lately that this year has been the year of the new. There are so many things that I’ve done for the first time or that I’ve been so connected to it’s felt like the first time. What I … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Our youngest had a birthday this week – all three children now in double figures and don’t we know it! I just had to reflect on it all this morning as how my children react to things sometimes fascinates me. … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Is there a silver lining to loss? Could there be something good that comes out of the losses we face in our lives? When I think of my children and the loss they’ve experienced already in their short lives, can … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When you see new born babies with their Mum more often than not there’s an instant bond, an invisible cord that seems to bind them together. The goggly eyes from the adults and the response from the baby. This is … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I was at a wedding last week and the Preacher used a phrase that has stuck with me since. I don’t think he intended it to be such a profound message, as it was a bit of a throw away … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Regret can be a crippling thing. Whether it’s regret over something you did or didn’t do, whether it’s pain over things that happened to you or didn’t happen to you – looking back and wishing things were different doesn’t help … Continue reading

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why are we so bothered about being the odd one out, the person who hasn’t experienced what others have, the one who can’t relate to the story or the one who actually hasn’t got a clue what people are talking … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It is 5 years since we had our children placed with us and we are having a party tomorrow to celebrate. This week I’ve been mulling over the party coming up and the question going round my mind has been … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Fun | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Less than a week left of the summer holidays and as ever there’s mixed emotions about going back to school and getting back into the routine of life. The summer is a strange time I think, everyone seems to slow … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes the realisation of how different children who have been adopted are to other children takes you by surprise. On Friday I attended our Secondary schools awards ceremony for year 7 and 8 (aged 11-13 ish). I was attending as … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My daughter has just started at High School…..what a see saw of emotions. For children who have experienced trauma, and as a result have attachment difficulties, big transitions like this can be very difficult. Whilst she seems to be taking … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

This expression is used a lot within the adoption world. Many times social workers comment on the importance of the childs’ needs within our care system – that everything we do throughout the process is supposedly about protecting the needs … Continue reading

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“He’s just attention seeking, if you give him attention it won’t do him any good” – this phrase and words to these effect are typical words we hear as parents  and professionals. When you see a child tugging on their … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What happens when you slow down? When you stop the running around, dashing from one place to the next, focused on what’s coming and what needs to be done. What do you see, feel and hear when you can slow … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

  My kids love to run. They run from the bedroom to the bathroom, they run downstairs, they run to the car, they run from the car into school. All day they run. It struck me this morning as I … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Fun, Self Care | Leave a comment

What is it about birthdays? They come once a year – just one day but they can hold so much in them – memories, anticipation, sadness, happiness, surprises and shocks sometimes! It’s my birthday today and as ever it’s got … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

   I’ve been thinking about change recently. With Christmas and the change in routines, then back to school and work and the readjustments again to the routine, and then this week with the snow that routine has gone out the … Continue reading

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

I’ve found that sometimes it’s quite difficult to stay grateful. The times when you are so exhausted from trying to do the right thing with your children, when their issues are so great and consume your energy and thoughts, when … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

  How deep is your love is a great sentiment and it’s something that pops into my mind occasionally as an adoptive parent – how deep is my love and compassion for my children; with their pain, angst and general … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I love Dr Seuss. Before I had children I loved Dr Seuss and now I have children I love him all the more. We went to see the Lorax this weekend and there were a few quotes that really made … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Which brings me to my final question – what do we hope to achieve by rewarding children? In the traditional sense with our reward charts and sliding scales of behaviour charts we are hoping they will tow the line and … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Yesterday we looked at what we reward children for …… today our second question – why do we feel the need to reward children? We are told that what you focus on is what you get and I can see that. … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Something I’m asked time and again, whilst doing training for schools, is how can we use rewards effectively with children who’ve experienced trauma? Well there are a few fundamental questions we have to ask ourselves first:- What are we rewarding … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Parenting adopted children can be like a military operation. We have three children who actually like to be in chaos – ‘like’ may not be the right word but it is their comfort zone I suppose – the place that … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Family pressures Families are great aren’t they! We don’t choose them and we can’t get away from them (well we can I suppose). Whatever your extended family is like today I can guarantee having adopted children has changed that dynamic … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Belly laugh My kids love to laugh. I’m sure you can remember those times when you were young and you laughed so hard your belly hurt and you thought you might have an accident! If you can’t remember that of course … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tip Number One – Quietness Quietness is a rarity these days. When you have three children descend on your quiet life it does inevitably create noise and chaos. Not that I’m complaining about that – but in order to stay … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

  “Isn’t adoptive parenting the same as any other parenting?” “We all have the same struggles as you do” “Just treat them like you would any child and they’ll be fine”. If you’re an adoptive parent these are words I’m … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Building trust Trust is the foundation of relationships. We know that relationships have failed our children in many ways. They don’t feel the basic level of trust that other children do, so they constantly question our motives and are looking … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Emotional age vs chronological age When we are stressed we all regress, but for our children that regression can be shocking. An 11 year old for example may regress to behave like a 5 year old under extreme stress. This … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Education is a constant battle for most children who have experienced early trauma. My husband and I have three adopted children who all struggle to one degree or another with their school. Whilst it is a small, caring, understanding school … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

My daughter has just started at High School…..what a see saw of emotions. For children who have experienced trauma and as a result have attachment difficulties big transitions like this can be very difficult. Whilst she seems to be taking … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

We’ve just got back from our summer holiday – a week in the sunny (sometimes) shores of Britain. With five of us camping (motorhome and tent to try and spread the chaos) it was quite challenging at times. For those … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Over the summer holidays my kids and I have been around other children more than usual and a few things have struck me. The first is about just how different the family rules are we all make within our homes.  When … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

We all have the need to belong to something – whether that’s within our family and friends, or a group of people who understand the things we go through and experience. There’s a theory called ‘The Third Place‘ that psychologists … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

At a conference I was at recently Louise Bomber the author of ‘Inside I’m Hurting’ made a comment on how to help children deal with the difficult sides to their emotions – the anger, the frustration, the shame.  She talked about the … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When we were going through the matching process for adoption I held the belief that keeping siblings together at all costs was a good thing…..I haven’t necessarily changed on this belief but I have seen areas where sibling rivalry takes … Continue reading

Posted in Childrens needs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

It’s sunny again today and for most people there’s a sense of lightness – spring is in the air and even summer if our past summers are anything to go by. However not everyone likes the sun! There are some … Continue reading

Posted in Childrens needs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I’m on a new eating plan at the moment – quite a radical one for me actually. It means I have to change my whole approach to food which has been hard. It’s made me think once again about my … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on” – Henry Ellis There are many decisions we have to make every day.  What breakfast to eat, what to wear, what to do with … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , | Comments Off

There are times when I would love to scream I’M A MOTHER GET ME OUT OF HERE, when my three demanding and needy children can not leave me alone, when they insist on squabbling with each other all day, when … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Comments Off

It’s my birthday tomorrow and …….. I’m sure I won’t cry. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve reached the ripe old age of 42 – not ashamed but I am a bit sad – I am now well and truly … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

“I’m not like other 9 years old”, “I don’t have a normal family”, “I’m not a normal parent”……on and on – our children may say it, we may say it but this week this concept of being ‘normal’ has struck … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Since I’ve become a parent I’ve been aware of the feeling of being under scrutiny from others. Whether this is a ‘normal’ feeling as a parent or something unique to adoption I don’t know. Of course none of us as … Continue reading

Posted in General Posts | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Generosity – you either have it or you don’t, it can not be acquired. I heard this statement on the radio today and it made me stop and think – is that true – can you learn to be generous … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Peace on earth. goodwill to men….I’ve been listening to a brilliant song this week ‘I heard the bells on Christmas day’ – with a great chorus – “Peace on Earth”. I’ve included a link to this song as I hope … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes, Self Care | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

I absolutely love watching and hearing my kids laugh! Children know how to really laugh. Something happens to us adults after a certain age where we become respectable with our laughter – we smile, make a short sound like “huh” … Continue reading

Posted in Fun | Tagged , | Comments Off

Being a parent is really difficult at times. There are so many people who have their opinions and you can be swayed so much by what others think. Being the parent you believe you should be and especially what your … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Having not had birth children myself I can’t say I understand parenting in the sense of how most people have a family. They conceive, have the wonderful (and painful so I’m told) experience of giving birth and then of course … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

  I’ve heard it said many times that those children who have experienced early trauma in some way tend to find the relationship with the ‘Mum’ figure the most challenging.  Due to the strong bond with our biological Mothers we, … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

As an adoptive mother I’ve struggled for years with the feelings of loss that come from not being able to give birth to children.  Today though I started to re-think my feelings on this whole subject.  Unlike people who experience … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

  I used to love Oliver Twist and so do my kids!  They especially like the part where Oliver bravely approaches his keeper to ask for more of the disgusting gruel they give to the work house children. Food is … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off

It was three years last week when our children moved in with us. Those three years have been a real roller coaster of emotions but one thing is sure – it takes time to adapt to this adoption journey for … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , | Comments Off

‘What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lives within us’. Henry David Thoreau. I heard this quote recently on TV and it raised a question in me – how true is … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

If you had your time all over again what would you have done differently?  We had this topic at our adoption support group last night and it was a really interesting and beneficial night.  It’s got me thinking what a … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , | Comments Off

  Fairy tales are brilliant – I love them…but one of my children was talking about them today and said the well known phrase “they all lived happily ever after”.  It made me think about this journey of adoption we … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Are you ever confused about what your children want or need?  Sometimes it’s difficult to know as they don’t know themselves and if they do can’t articulate it or communicate in a way we can understand.  I found a cartoon … Continue reading

Posted in Childrens needs | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

On holiday last week we were driving down a steep road and I noticed the sign for an ESCAPE LANE – one of those little slip roads you can go down if you lose control on the road.  That phrase … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I will say nothing more this week other than this video and Mums have a great Easter with your kids!

Posted in Fun | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Trust is a difficult area for adopted children.  Why should they trust adults – we’ve not been a great example to them I’m sure – whether they’ve experienced a neglectful, abusive and/or inconsistent start in life – they have then … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

There are many times when I ask myself why we took on this immense journey of adoption.  I’m sure there are those moments for you all!  When no matter how much you try to follow the therapeutic parenting route you … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

  I’ve heard the phrase positive parenting many times before and thought I understood what it meant. However recently I’ve started to re-think how I feel about this.  Whilst we do need to be positive about our children and in … Continue reading

Posted in Attitudes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

I sometimes feel like I’m in no mans land in terms of my parenting experience. When you adopt (without having birth children first) it is a weird place to be. You don’t have the stories of pregnancy and childbirth to … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ve heard many times on adoption training that we need to be patient, calm and understanding to our kids – of which I totally agree. However recently this is becoming harder as we’re faced with a screaming child desperate to … Continue reading

Posted in Self Care | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment