Process is Messy

12 January 2024


Process is messy


I was reminded once again during the holidays that process is messy. It just is. We put up some shelves in our living space and standing there in the middle of putting them up, it felt once again like we’d just moved in. The chaotic mess in the room that was created felt exactly the same as a year previous when we were moving furniture in.

Also, we did lots of baking… a whole new level of messy process!!

On Instagram I can get quite hooked on watching people create things of various kinds. I realise a lot of the process itself is so carefully curated because people cover up the mess of their process so well. IRL, it’s not like that at all.

Process is a beautifully messy thing! Remember that as you start a new year with your kiddo. They’re in a process of settling into new things. They might have hiccups and wobbles and you might wonder what on earth you’ve done if you’ve made a major change. It’s OK, process is messy.


Your child might be in the same school, but a new grade, a new teacher, a new classroom. You might be surprised at how much it takes for them to adjust to the changes. What you might feel are small changes, may feel major to them.

They’re getting used to a new teacher in the classroom, there could be an adjustment to a heightened energy, or a slower energy, more noise or less noise. There are inevitably changes in dynamics depending on which children are in the class together.  Different can feel hard. They could be nervous about the expectations of them at their new level, whether perceived or imagined, this is real for them, a weight they haven’t dealt with before.

Most difficult in all of this is that most children can’t put into words what the changes are or how it is impacting them. They simply feel it in their bodies, and those can be good feelings and bad feelings and a mixture of the two.

It’s going to be OK. Process is messy.

Be patient. Be available to listen. As far as possible in the first few days or weeks of school (depending on your child), make sure yourself or someone close to your child is there to drop them off, and there to pick them up. After school, spend at least half an hour of having face-to-face time with your child. Listening to what they want to tell you about their day. Looking at whatever they take out of their school bag. Or, simply playing with them.

When are make yourself available to be with your child in their process, this makes all the difference. They see that you are with them, and feel supported deep down even without you having to say anything specific.


















Also, remember you don’t have to anticipate any negatives, your child might sail through just fine and settle very quickly. You can still be with them, be available to them.

Affirm them whenever you can. “You did it! First week of grade x done! I’m proud of you!” Even if they have cried every day, and had some big feelings. You’re focusing on seeing them in their difficulties, supporting them, but encouraging them that they can do this.

Spending time being with them helps them to know deep inside; this process can be messy, but everything is going to be OK.

PS: There are a few reasons I put this picture of bubbles in. They’re cheap to buy, they provide no-brainer play and activity – neither you nor your child has to come up with words, you can simply enjoy being in your bodies and play! They are delightful! They help you to focus on your breath, take time to consciously note your breathing, steady yourself and take deep breaths in and out to regulate yourself. Your child will follow your lead.


Parent Conversations

I will be running a face-to-face small group for parents in February. I call these Parent Conversations as they are interactional and conversational rather than “teachy”, although you will be given some resources and information along the way.

There are 4 sessions of one and a half hours each where parents get to have intentional conversations about parenting. We focus on dealing with big feelings, anxiety, emotional regulation, and parent self-care. You can sign up for as many sessions as you’d like, although to get the very best out of the process come along to all four and build relationships with other group members. Feedback from previous participants has been that being with other parents in these conversations is where they feel most encouraged and supported.

This is what participants have said:

“I discovered that I am not alone in how I feel. I appreciated having a safe space to share my fears and guilt.”

“I learned that everyone is going through things with their children. And that parenting has so much more to do with my past and how I react than what I ever anticipated.”

Recommendations from previous participants:

“I would definitely recommend attending. If everyone can learn the tools to help themselves, it will help regulate their kids. It was a safe space to share and be vulnerable  and learn how to overcome these emotions.”

“I believe every parent should do it. It gives insight into our children’s minds and feelings. It helps us understand our children more and why they may do certain things.”

I will be linking in the sign up form next week so have a look out for that!

Dates; 5, 12, 19 and 26 February 2024

Time: 6pm – 7:30pm each week

Venue: Howick.

Cost for individual: R 120 per session per person, or R 400 if you sign up for all 4.

Cost for couple: R 150 per session per couple, or R 500 if you sign up for all 4.


The Journalling Workshop 3 February 

You can read more about The Journalling Workshop here.

A Journalling Workshop participant gave this feedback:

“I felt like you ‘demystified’ journalling for me…you inspired me to pick up my journals again and to just go for it!” 




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