All I want for Christmas is peaceful family time

Nov 15, 2019

Hands up who finds Christmas stressful?

 Even without a separated family, Christmas can be stressful. Rushing to events, what seem like never ending school holidays, buying gifts, trying to navigate the extra financial pressure and kids on lolly highs?

It isn’t all Clark Griswald, egg nog and family togetherness. It can be tough. But then add in a separated family and that stress level ratchets up a few thousand notches.

Let’s do this

But, my friend, the unavoidable truth is that you can’t avoid Christmas.

School is on holidays, the whole world is merry (or at least kind of frenetic) and the kids love it. And when you can’t avoid something, the best thing to do is to be prepared. Try to avoid all those awkward moments and minimise the stress. I am not saying you won’t still need a few wines from time to time, but you will be able to manage.

 Let’s look at some common questions

 It is important to remember that you are not...

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5 ways to look after yourself during separation

Sep 09, 2019


Separation can be one of the toughest life experiences you will ever encounter. When facing the avalanche of emotions and uncertainty about the future, finances, living and parenting arrangements – self care usually falls low on the priority list, yet it is perhaps the time we need it most. Physical well-being lays the foundation for your mental and emotional health – so here are 5 simple ways to implement self-care during separation.

  1. Eat well - Opting for nutritious and well-balanced foods can have a huge impact on how you feel emotionally. Keep in mind that a healthy body creates a healthy mind! Try to make mindful choices that include plenty of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins as they are going to give you the sustained energy and mental clarity needed to get through this particularly stressful time.
  2. Get moving- Making time for movement in any way, shape or form does wonders for your mental state. Simply a walk in the sunshine can significantly...
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5 ways to avoid Easter Overwhelm!

Apr 18, 2019

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be feeling a little exhausted in the lead up to Easter. No doubt it’s been a bit of a juggle during the school holidays and now the Easter shuffle is nearly here and you’re feeling….well completely overwhelmed!

Easter, like Christmas, can be a difficult time for separated families as it’s one of those ‘special holidays’ where it’s important for the kids to spend time with both parents. However, it can be an anxious time for parents as there is a less structure and possibly more face to face changeovers to navigate, not to mention a whole lot of chocolate!

If you’re finding Easter a little overwhelming, or perhaps this is the first Easter after separation, here are 5 tips to help make sure it goes smoothly so you can enjoy some quality time with your beautiful kids.

  1. Have a plan! Conflict loves confusion, so get yourselves organised. Don’t fly by the seat of your pants for...
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Rescue yourself first

Feb 07, 2019

Most people have heard the airline spiels of ‘fit your own oxygen mask first before helping others’. But have you ever really considered the consequences of what might happen if you don’t? Put simply, if you can’t breathe, then you won’t be able to help others around you breathe. Such a simple concept that we should apply in all areas of life. Look after yourself, so you have the capacity to look after others.

But in real life situations, how easy is it to care for yourself before caring for others? If you’re a mother like me, you’ve probably been putting your kids needs above your own from the day you gave birth to them. It's an inherent fact, right? Some may even say its biologically imprinted on our DNA. Maybe that’s why we find it hard to flip that concept around and say, ‘hold the front door’, what about me?!

My work involves helping families problem solve after separation and divorce. Possibly the most stressful event...

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The World is a Vampire: 7 ways to avoid being bitten by Christmas Overwhelm!

Dec 18, 2018

If you count the 1990’s as your formative years you may recognise this Smashing Pumpkins Lyric. I remember lapping all that poetic rage up about how the world is ‘sent to drain’.

However, fast forward to 2018 and the world is possibly sucking the life out of us like never before. Life moves at a frightening pace with digital overload, high expectations and an overwhelming sense that we need to try and be everything to everyone. None so more than at Christmas time.

Perhaps, like me, you have spent the last few weeks saying to yourself:

  • How did I let this happen?
  • Why am I going to this function, event or party? I don’t even want to go!
  • How did I spend so much on Christmas? Maybe I should buy more?
  • What will people think of me? I'm so tired I don't care.
  • I am so totally exhausted, run down and overwhelmed!
  • Why does Christmas time have to be so stressful?

After saying all of the above to myself (multiple times), I’ve come up with 7 idea’s on...

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Are you the passenger or the driver?

Nov 22, 2018

Are you the passenger or the driver in your family separation?

When a marriage or relationship ends, it might feel like your world has broken into a thousand different pieces. The aftermath seems incredibly overwhelming. What do I do? Where do I go? What are my rights? I have no idea where to start! I can’t face this right now.

Here at The Separation Place we think that there are two different options for you when you need to sort out your arrangements for your kids.

Be the passenger

 You can get into the passenger seat and sit next to someone who can guide you through the system, move you through the process and get you out the other side. The driver is often a lawyer. An expert driver mind you. They know exactly the direction you need to head in and they know the roads well. The only set backs are that: 

  1. they don’t know how much the ride is going to cost (because the length of the journey is uncertain); and 
  2. They are not really sure of the destination....
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Calming the conversation

Aug 21, 2018

Family conflict is absolutely debilitating to those experiencing it. Loss of sleep, anxiety and worry, stress and pressure of what will the future look like for your family unit. People experience most of these negative aspects because they leave their conflicts to fester, rather than address them sooner rather than later.

The good news is that so many families in Australia can work together to find a co-parenting arrangement. Now, I didn’t say you have to like each other! But you do have to work together to make sure those children of yours are happy, healthy and live the best life they can lead. And you are going to help them do that by eliminating the stress of family conflict from their lives.

Imagine if there was a tool that helped you decrease the conflict, come up with a plan that works for all family members live your life without the dark cloud that’s been hanging over you. Well there is! And its called mediation.

Here are the top 3 reasons why mediation...

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