Alena Turley
4 min readNov 16, 2018


How this Mum Saved Herself & Discovered the Magic of a Symphony of Breaths

On the topic of bringing up families, I’m not an expert. I do feel like I have had a lot of experience though: from being an older sister to two much younger siblings; then being that friend in the group of teens that would always be expected to behave like ‘the mum’; right up to now as an actual mother of three.

Not that any of that means much anyway. It’s not like anyone is an expert when it comes to parenting. There is such a myriad of experience that is so personal in all the minutiae of any family’s existence, one can never be an expert in any of it. There is only now. And then there is another now, and so on.

With a combination of so many people in a family, there is a sort of intimacy, — the web of interaction is intricate, ever-changing, and elusively complex. And that is only in the case that we are lucky enough to have any intimacy in our family in the first place. Either way though, it is complex because it involves so much time and so many different people at different points in their life’s journey.

Today, my teenaged boy went from getting results for his Year 9 exams to visiting family after school. I can’t tell you any more about him for now, he’s very private by nature and it’s not my story to tell.

My almost-six-year-old girl, however, is in a different place. She went to her after school dance class, got in the car and said, Mum, I’m hungry! Right now, she says with emphasis. At the same time, all that the two-year-old wanted was a cuddle with his big sister. All three want different things from me at different times throughout the day, and sometimes they all want different things at the same time. Shit gets cray-cray.

It all culminates in an after dinner play on the carpeted floor of our apartment, whilst calling relatives in England. They talked to us of their lives while we juggled nappy changes and dishwasher loading. And then it was bedtime.

The two-year-old and I sleep together in a room with a bunk that the 6-year-old sleeps on the top level of. He loves going to bed, mainly because he is breastfed and it is our little bit of mummy/son quality time. So he gets excited at bedtime.

Daddy changes him. He tells us he wants his ‘dappy’ changed. He complains as we put him in…