Read our posts about relationships

Celebrating Mother's Day When you Don't Get Along with your Mum

Celebrating Mother's Day When you Don't Get Along with your Mum

As Mother’s Day looms ever closer in the UK, I find myself bombarded by messages, suggesting ways in which I can thank my mother for all that she has done and continues to do for me. For many people, including the clients I work with, these sentiments do not always resonate with their experience of having been mothered. For those of us whose experience does not match that of the kind, warm, nurturing mother we have all come to expect and hope for, Mother’s Day can be a struggle; a stinging reminder of a turbulent relationship, of criticism or rejection, or of a...
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Becoming a Mother

Becoming a Mother

You are an independent adult, a fully-functioning person with an agenda and expectations and goals. Then you have a baby and everything changes. Suddenly your focus is shifted - from your career, from your relationships, from the personal rituals that have become so integral to your sense of self, whether it’s the commute to work, a long soak in the bath, or something as simple as an uninterrupted wee. It’s a wonderful shift in many ways that negates a lot of your insecurities as this new responsibility consumes you whole. But still most of us are, at one time or...
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How to Have a Harmonious Family Christmas

How to Have a Harmonious Family Christmas

We all look forward to Christmas, to the chance to catch up with friends and family, to share good food, to sit beside warm fires, and to enjoy a well-deserved break from our hectic schedules. Often, however, the longed for harmony and bonhomie doesn’t last. The lack of light in December means many of us suffer bouts of low mood, and the demands made on us socially and at work mean that, by the time we get to Christmas itself, we’re feeling tired and grumpy—and often anything but sociable! So how can you rescue this situation? What can you do to ensure that...
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5 TIPS FOR DIVORCED AND BLENDED FAMILIES AT CHRISTMAS

5 TIPS FOR DIVORCED AND BLENDED FAMILIES AT CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a notoriously difficult time for families who are no longer living together as a unit. Sometimes children go from one parent’s house to the other on the day; others take it in turns to spend Christmas day with their children; some celebrate on consecutive days with each parent; and there are some who get together for the day, even with new partners and children born post-the breakup. Whatever the way you decide to handle this situation, there is no doubt that it is complicated, and things can go badly wrong. In the run-up to the festive...
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Off To The Hotel of Mum and Dad

Off To The Hotel of Mum and Dad

Going home for Christmas from Uni can lead to an interesting couple of weeks. Often a toxic mix of December exams and end of term parties will have left you exhausted and yearning for your bed at home and some home cooked food. For the first few days all is well. Talking to my friend Becky this morning, she says hers is a three-day threshold (mine personally is a two-day) wherein being home is the most relaxing and enjoyable time, mostly spent catching up on sleep and eating. But after the honeymoon, oftentimes home can become the last place you want...
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Can I Adopt? 9 Common Misconceptions about Adoption

Can I Adopt? 9 Common Misconceptions about Adoption

Jadwiga Ball, CEO of Clifton Children’s Society (CCS) Adoption explains the impact of the new Government changes which are being brought in to make the adoption process easier, and dispels some of the myths around adoption. The Government Action Plan In response to the length of time that children were waiting in the care system for a new home, the government set up an expert working group in December 2011, comprising key partners from across the adoption sector to help redesign and speed up the process from initial enquiry through to assessment, with a view to...
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Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Sex: Have You Ever Regretted The Night Before?

Is there a topic more emotive, fraught and confused than sex and consent, versus sex and coercion? Impaled on the shameful histories of silencing women and violence against women, many solutions are value driven but goal blind.  How far will the recent call for explicit consent go in protecting women from being victims of rape and men from being perpetrators of rape? One in seven students who responded said that they had experienced serious physical or sexual assault at University. In an NUS survey conducted four years ago, one in seven students who...
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Breaking Up With A Sociopath

Breaking Up With A Sociopath

Are you in a relationship where you are always in the wrong and chaos is the norm? Your partner doesn’t show any concern for anyone other than themselves and has extreme antisocial tendencies?   The chances are you are in a relationship with a sociopath. Sociopaths don’t care if they hurt, bully or maim. They have no conscience and show no remorse. Exiting a relationship of this sort can be painful and difficult but being aware of our former behaviours helps us gain insight, which in turn helps keep us from getting inadvertently (re)trapped in a cycle of...
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Adopting Siblings: Our New Family

Adopting Siblings: Our New Family

My husband and I have been together for nearly 17 years and married 11 years ago. Since marrying we had tried for a family but when it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to have biological children we both (separately) came to the conclusion that we would like to be considered as adoptive parents. I read information on the adoptive process and we approached our local authority and Clifton Children's Society, an adoption service who specialise in adopting siblings, for further information. After attending information sessions by both organizations we asked CCS to...
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Becoming a Grandparent

Becoming a Grandparent

I was pleased when my son and daughter-in-law announced they were expecting, but I had no idea what a transformational rite of passage it would be when she became part of our family. How much love would be unleashed, how it is to see her little personality shaping itself and to have a soft dough hand thrust trustingly into mine and The Old Man's as we stride down the street with her, pausing to examine dogs, doorways, shop, windows at her command. In fact I fear I've become a sentimental old bore whipping out my smart phone if someone as much as enquires...
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