2016:01 HollyBeing a mother of small children is such a beautiful, precious, short period in our lives, but it is also incredibly physically and mentally challenging – and exhausting. Many mothers don’t have extended families living nearby to help and support one another. Raising children can be a lonely and isolating experience. Sometimes getting a meal on the table at the end of the day can feel like a bigger challenge than climbing Mt Everest.

After the birth of my first child my eyes were opened by a few kind women (other mothers of course) who brought me some amazing gifts – home cooked meals! It made such a huge impression on me that I jumped on the bandwagon and have been singing its praises from the hill-tops ever since. I love the idea of ‘compassionate food’.

I come from a big Greek family who are wildly passionate about food and who love to cook, eat and share their cooking. It’s a way we show our love for one another. I truly believe that one of the most powerful ways I can support another mother is to provide a home cooked meal for their family. How would you feel if a friend turned up on your doorstep with a big hearty casserole and a batch of freshly baked biscuits?

It’s easy to get consumed by our own family’s challenges, but it is humbling to remember there are always others far worse off. It’s actually quite good therapy – for me there is nothing more effective in helping me forget about my own problems, than doing something to help another. I cannot do much to help the Syrian refugee crisis, but I can look closer to home and with a small act of kindness make a difference in the life of another mother.

Let’s create communities of women who care for each other enough to reach out with compassion to support one another. Something as simple as and sitting down to a home cooked meal that you have not prepared can bring a huge amount of relief, joy and gratitude. Knowing that someone cares about you that much can fill our tanks so that we can get up in the morning and embrace another day of the wonderful rollercoaster ride that is parenting.

Holly, Australia