Ellie found her support network through our local playgroups
Having moved to Australia seven years ago, Ellie struggled with the difficulties of being a new parent and making friends.
“I think I expected it to be much easier,” she says. “I didn’t realise how much a baby or a child needs you to be there 24/7 and how challenging kids can be. How they throw tantrums and how you just have to be there to regulate their emotions and help them go through the phases and even teach your child to sleep.”
Barnardos provided Ellie with the tools and confidence to overcome her struggles and connect with her community by attending a Supported Playgroup, which encourages children to socialise and learn through play and provides opportunities for parents to interact and participate in courses. “Just interacting with other mums and having the kids hang out with other kids really helped,” Ellie explains.
Ellie completed the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY), Circle of Security and Raising Good Kids courses, which teach parents to be mindful of their children’s needs and the importance of early childhood development.
“Through these courses, I’ve actually learnt that there’s a reason why my child is doing that,” she says. “Instead of reacting to my child’s behaviour, I try to think first: why is this happening? What does my child need?” She remains calm and puts her children first by using techniques to regulate their emotions when they are angry or frustrated. “It’s good knowing that my kids have a good beginning, a good start in life. They know how to calm themselves and control their feelings, which are skills they will need for their whole lives.”
Parenting can be very challenging at times and it is important for mothers to know they are not alone. Ellie says, “There is nothing wrong with asking for help. When you get the support you need, the better you feel and the better your kids will feel.”