author Emilie Leeks,

"But here's the thing: the reality is, I actually don't have anything better to do. Because actually very little comes higher up the priority list than their emotional wellbeing. Oh, it's hard for me to see that sometimes (often) of course. And it can be so hard for me to act with that in mind - often I don't; often I won't manage to quell those thoughts about how important the 'to do' list is right there and then, and that's ok too."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"What I am learning, slowly, painfully, is that the difference between the days of lightness and laughter, and the days of drudgery or frustration or anger, lie not in the children, or in the things they are doing. The difference is in me. It's how resourced I am in terms of both inner (sense of peace) and outer (getting the help I need) resources. The difference stems not from the circumstances in which I find myself, rather it is in how I feel about what is happening around me."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"All children will have to face uncomfortable challenges in their lives at some point. We don't need to put obstacles in their way so that they can 'learn to overcome them', but equally, we don't need to and shouldn't fix every difficulty they face either. We have well built brain and bodily systems to help us overcome problems in our lives, and getting to flex these 'issue-solving muscles' as we move through life is really important in developing a sense of resilience and ability to pull through when things feel tough."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"My story isn't theirs; their story isn't mine, and I can't judge people on a snapshot - or indeed on anything. I can only hold that they are doing their best. And that maybe they need - maybe they *deserve* - a break. A break, to do something of their choosing - because right now in this moment, they *can*."

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author Emilie Leeks,

"And so with aching hearts we say happy birth-day, Caitlin. And we’ll miss you – always."

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