The Rise Of The “Guilty” Parent And How To Grow Your Confidence And Trust Yourself More

As featured in HuffPost UK

In the world of parenting there is A LOT of information (and opinions) available to us.

the “experts”
to the style in which we were raised
to the choices our friends and siblings make
to our mothers’ groups
to traditional media
to the wonderful world of google and social media…

Information, and opinions, are everywhere we look!

But it is not always helpful or useful, in fact, with so much (often contradictory and opposing) information available, the result can be frustration and confusion.

All this information can also then lead to a lot of “shoulding” and consequently, guilt…

“Shoulding” is the idea or thought that we “should” do this or “should” do that.

“Shoulding” is the perfect way to feel inadequate, to place guilt and to feel guilt.

Guilt can show up in the guise of “I am not enough” or “I am not doing enough” or “If I do X then I will be a good parent” or “If I was a good parent I would have done X” or just generally feeling like your best is never enough.

And… this is not exclusive to parenting. This is in the office, in our relationships, in our homes.

All of this “shoulding” and guilt takes away our personal power and our confidence to make decisions which we feel aligned with. 

It stops us from feeling we are being the parent we want to be.

It is time to QUIT, and…
START being true to you…

… Speak your truth
… Live from a place which honours your purpose and the parent you want to be for your children
… Let go of cultural conditioning of what you “should” do and how you “should” live your life (including how you “should” parent).

Honour yourself by listening to the voice in your heart.

Yes, it takes courage to listen to your own inner instincts.
To possibly go against the grain and choose to do things differently to the people and information you are surrounded by.

But remember…
There are more than 7 billion people on this planet.
You will never ever please everybody with your choices all the time anyway.

Fortunately or unfortunately, you will be judged and criticised no matter what your choices and/or actions…

So you may as well choose to…

Quit pleasing everyone
Quit seeking approval from everyone
Quit “shoulding” yourself
Quit placing guilt on yourself

Here are 3 easy steps you can take to help you step into your personal power, increase your confidence and be the parent you always wanted to be.

1. Change your language (both internal dialogue and expressed language). 

Start by giving yourself more power by reframing.

So rather than saying: “I should do X”

Instead you might choose to say:

“I can (or I could) do X”
“I will do X”

Changing the word should for can/could automatically turns it into a choice.

Changing should for will moves you forward into action.

And… if doing X is something you really don’t want to do and it isn’t critical to survival (e.g. cooking dinner for your family) then simply let it go.

2. Create a process to check-in 

I think there is a lot of value in reading, listening and learning from the experts and our community, but with all the information available to us, developing a way to do a personal check-in helps us to know what the right decision is for us and our family.

A couple questions you could ask yourself:

Does “X” information resonate with me?
– If yes, what about it resonates with me?
– If no, what about it doesn’t resonate with me?

Have I made my decision from a place of ego (I’m right, you’re wrong) or from intuition (I have done my research and my “gut” says “X is a good choice for my family”)?

Often we undervalue the power of listening to our intuition, but being in tune with your intuition and being able to listen to what isn’t being said (also known as the song behind the words) is in fact very powerful and important in feeling confident in our parenting choices.

3. Flex your muscles

A great way to get more comfortable and confidence to speak your truth and step into your personal power is to practice speaking up.

Begin by sharing your perspective on something little or something you think is valuable. If sharing verbally is challenging, start first by writing it down so you can get clear about the message you do want to share.

And one final word…

You already have all the skills to be your best parent, trust yourself and step into your personal power.


As a coach, I work with parents to help them to release any feelings of guilt and to step into their personal power to have the confidence to support their children with the style of parenting which resonates with them.

Parent intuition & confidence


Why our children need us to love ourselves…

(as published on HuffPost UK today)

The power of love transforms your children and shapes their experiences now and in the future.

Little people are “meaning-making machines” (thanks Vishen Lakhiani for this awesome and perfect term).

The first seven years plays an important role in our life…

“The most influential perceptual programming of the subconscious mind occurs from birth through age six. By observing the behavioral patterns of people in their immediate environment—primarily parents, siblings, and relatives—children learn to distinguish acceptable and unacceptable social behaviors. It’s important to realize that perceptions acquired before the age of six become the fundamental subconscious programs that shape the character of an individual’s life.” Bruce H. Lipton Ph.D.

Children create meaning out of everything which impacts how they see the world and how they see themselves. For example, when they experience the feeling of rejection this hurts and they create a meaning from that experience, which could be “I’m not loved” or “I’m not loveable” or “I’m not enough”.

As parents we cannot take all responsibility all the time for the meaning our children create from everything they experience, but we can support them to feel loved and to create more feelings of love in their life.

Vishen Lakhiani in “The Code of the Extraordinary mind” speaks about helping our kids to create more positive frames of reference and shutting down the negative meaning making as quickly as possible. His suggestion is to have a daily practice of encouraging our children share “what they loved about themselves today”.

As a coach and parent I have a deep understanding about our words and language and how this shapes the meaning children (and adults) create from their experiences. Our words are powerful!

In our house we have already started “What I loved about myself today” as part of our evening gratitude when we sit at the table for dinner. Although our daughter is under 12 months we know how important it is to create positive habits, and the best time to start them in now. We also know children are always learning, and modelling positive behaviours is critical.

The reason we have started this daily practice now is because we don’t want to wait until something is “broken” or “damaged” before we repair or fix it. I do not understand why as a society we always need to wait until something is damaged or broken before we make changes?

… We have to be sick or overweight before eating healthy…
… Our relationships have to be falling apart before we take action to re-connect…

We don’t operate that way in our home. We choose to create powerful and positive habits for our family now. This also ensures we are growing towards what we want more of in our lives – more health, more happiness, more vitality, more joy, more abundance…

We also know how important it is to have a healthy love for ourselves.

Creating good habits for ourselves now will impact how we parent and how our children learn. When they see us loving ourselves and acknowledging that love in a safe environment, they too will grow to understand that it is ok to love and be kind to themselves.

I believe what the world needs more of is children who feel loved and valued. Imagine a world where these children grow to become the leaders of the future and are equipped with love, compassion, gratitude, kindness, empathy and joy and are equipped to handle what the world throws at them.

Plus… when we love ourselves we don’t need to seek it from others, and our relationships become healthier and happier.

And, as a parent, don’t we all want our children to have a healthy and loving relationship with themselves and with others?

Of course we do…

Therefore, to help our children to have a healthy self-love, first we must begin by modelling and showing a healthy love for ourselves.


Heart tree

Fathers Day

Written on September 4 2016 and shared on our Facebook page

So today is my first official “Fathers Day”, but every day is an awesome day to be a Dad.

Below are some words I wrote recently for mine and Dalice’s website copy. It sums up the experience for me in becoming a Dad.

“My life’s most magical experience occurred in March 2016 when Dalice and I were gifted the most amazing natural birth of our divine daughter Ilhabela. The shift in my heart was like nothing I’ve ever experienced…

… Being present and actively involved in the birth is a choice I’ll always be grateful for and will be able to recall for all time to come.

… We often hear how amazing it is from others when their children are born… When your own turn up, the feeling and overwhelming sense of unconditional love consumes you like a big warm hug.

… Becoming “Daddy” and the guardian of such a beautiful little soul is a role that I’m most grateful to be able to play.”

I also loved this post I recently saw from Vishen Lakhiani from Mind Valley Academy – couldn’t have said it better myself:

“The most curious thing about being a man. Every guy I know who is about to become a father first develops some degree of anxiety: how will this new chapter affect his mission, his money, his freedom, his fun. Then the kid is born. And the guy comes to see that his mission, his money, his freedom, his fun, were never the main point anyway. It all comes second to the child. But the guy doesn’t care — because despite the sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and lack of quiet time — he is happier than he can ever remember”. – Vishen Lakiani.

Happy Fathers Day to all Dads out there including my awesome Dad. Take some time for yourself and also some time to be present with your awesome gifts in your children.

Mark 🙂

DaliceMark Family

What are you doing to celebrate success? (especially when it’s messy, crazy, exhausting…)

I initially wrote this for the Mama’s but it’s really a reminder and trigger for us all to stop, reflect, acknowledge and celebrate.

This week my daughter will be 6 months, during that times…

I have answered the door to the census lady wearing shorts with ugg boots and my hair in a crazy mess…

I have walked to the supermarket wearing a jumper with baby spew on it…

I have cried because I just needed a few minutes out of the house on my own in my own space and energy…

I have learnt a whole different level of tired…

I have worried about whether I’m doing a good enough job at being a mum…

I have judged myself for taking days (actually sometimes weeks), to get back to people or tick off a job that needed doing…

I have felt like a bullet proof ninja warrior one day and tired and vulnerable (on the cusp of crying over nothing/anything/everything) the next…

I have only been on time about 5% of the time over the past 6 months…

Yes… This is life…
It’s a bit crazy sometimes
It’s beautiful always
Even the messy and hard bits…

I share this crazyness because it’s real life and I want other mothers and women to know…

I get it
It’s ok
You are enough and perfect and beautiful just as you are
You are doing amazing. Even if you think you are not. You are.
I know you are because you are getting up each and every day and having another shot.
You are amazing. Love yourself for that.

Facebook and social media is a beautiful world to connect and share, but we all know photos capture the surface. We need to really look and talk and connect to see the depth and complexity of life.

I have looked into the eyes of other parents with small children and felt a beautiful connection, compassion, kindness and deep understanding…

So I ask you now Mum (and also Dad)…

What are you doing to celebrate your successes?

We cheer and get excited about so many achievements and milestones of our children…

… Their first smile, their first roll, their first steps, their first words. Their first A,B,C………X,Y,ZZZZZZZ.

What about your amazing achievements?

Whether that be
in your parenting
in your relationships with family &/or friends
in your career or business
in your personal development
in your sport or art or hobby or your contribution to humanity

How long has it been since you cheered and celebrated an achievement or milestone you have had

What would it look like to you to celebrate a success of your own?

I know that for me this is an area I really need to lean into….

…As a busy “get lots done” achiever I have never been good at celebrating my own successes.

But… I know this is an important key to my happiness and sense of fulfilment in my life.

So I ask you to do two things

1. Write a list of ten achievements or successes you have had in the past month.

2. Decide how you are going to celebrate that success and go do it.

You are beautiful
You are amazing
You are worthy and deserving

Dalice ❤️

Here are my ten…
(Please know and understand that I found writing this list really difficult…)

– I wrote this post and shared my vulnerable moments as a parent and woman
– I have been dedicated to my time bank (I’ll explain what a time bank is in another post)
– I have supported Mark in his development and growth by encouraging him to go away to work-shops and retreats to learn from great teachers
– I had cold showers for over a week to support my optimal health
– I went to my yoga class
– I cooked myself dinner 3 nights straight while Mark was away (this is huge for me because I’m not good at cooking, I don’t like cooking and Mark is an amazing cook and does all our dinners)
– I cleaned the house and got it ready for the photoshoot for our new website
– I reached out to a couple people who are doing some great work for others simply to congratulate and compliment them
– I committed to and completed my 30-days of “me time”
– I loved my daughter
– (#11 a bonus one… I got up each day and had a shower, brushed my teeth, got dressed, changed nappies, fed my darling girl and gave 100% of myself)

Now… I just need to decide how I’m going to celebrate ❤️


Becoming Mummy

I’ve never believed in love at first sight, not true unconditional love, the kind of love which lasts forever.

But this year I found out I was wrong. Love at first sight is real and it’s shockingly overwhelming and amazingly beautiful all at the same time.

This realisation came the day I became “Mummy”. In a moment everything else fell away and life for me became all about my little girl.

I cannot explain the feeling. There are no words to express this love. I have actually found motherhood cannot be truly explained, it can only be felt and understood through living it, and for that reason I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a parent.

I have since developed a whole new understanding and appreciation for how other parents feel about their kids and how my parents must feel about my sisters and I. When thinking about my daughter and how much I love her, I have thought several times “wow, my parents love me this much!”

And while it’s still relatively new for me I imagine this love only deepens and grows (this is what I’m told anyway).

For all the parents and carers out there (biological, step, foster, hands-on grand parents and special aunties & uncles), I express to you so much gratitude for loving and raising your kids.

Parenting is certainly an unrelenting and important role, and a constant lesson in trust, surrender and unconditional love.

Dalice ❤

“Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body” Elizabeth Stone