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Get £5 off your subscription to The Green Parent magazine when you use my code HHILES.

I LOVE The Green Parent magazine. I’ve been a subscriber since early 2011 when I was pregnant with my older son and I’m still excited when my copy drops through the door. When I’ve subscribed to other magazines for more than a year I’ve often found that they start to repeat themselves, but every edition of The Green Parent manages to stay fresh and inspiring.

As an example, the latest issue includes articles about baby wearing, how to start a blog, stand up comedy, healthy cake recipes, home education, creativity, natural beauty products and how to awaken joy in your children’s lives. And that’s just a snapshot!

My first Green Parent feature appeared in the February/March 2013 edition and was entitled Could You Be A Stay At Home Mum? (I wasn’t an SAHM then but am now, so apparently I could!). Since the June/July 2014 edition I’ve written the regular Meet The Author series, and have had the privilege of interviewing the likes of Kim John Payne, Janet Lansbury, Richard Louv and Milli Hill.  You can find all my Green Parent stories here.

The Green Parent comes out every two months and is available in print and in a digital format. A 12-issue subscription (which lasts two years) costs £35 but you can get £5 off when you use my promotional code. Just head to the subscription page and enter HHILES in the “Do you have a coupon code?” box in the billing details section.

 

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Green Parent Aug-Sept 2017.jpg

The August/ September edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to author and artist Lucy H Pearce about her book The Rainbow Way: Cultivating Creativity in the Midst of Motherhood and why it’s so important for mothers to explore their creative sides.

I genuinely thought “I have had my kids and my life is over now”. It was a choice I had made but I thought that choosing motherhood meant saying goodbye to me and goodbye to my dreams.

But you don’t have to say goodbye to your dreams just because you are in the midst of motherhood. You can have motherhood AND creativity.

I found Lucy to be inspirational and was even encouraged to start exploring my own creativity, despite having a deeply entrenched view of myself as “not creative”.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

 

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GP June July 2017

The June/July edition of The Green Parent magazine includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

I spoke to Milli Hill, the founder of the Positive Birth Movement, about The Positive Birth Book and how women can be empowered to have the birth they want.

You have rights and you have choices. You can be in the driving seat and decide what feels right for you. You have options and it’s worth exploring them. And finally, you can do it! You CAN do it.

I was very taken with this book and have since been recommending it to all my pregnant friends. It contains everything you might ever want to know about birth and is written in a relaxed, chatty style. I wish I had read it before I had my two children! Whatever a positive birth means to you, this book will make you believe you can do it.

 

You can read the feature here (PDF).

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GP Apr May 2017The April/ May edition of The Green Parent includes the latest in my series of interviews with parenting authors and experts.

Distinguished anthropologist Robert A LeVine, co-author of Do Parents Matter: Why Japanese babies sleep soundly, Mexican siblings don’t fight, and parents should just relax, told me about the almost five decades of international parenting research he and his wife Sarah have conducted – and what Western parents could learn from mothers and fathers around the world.

Parental practices in non-Western societies are full of surprises, if you’re a middle-class Western parent. For most parents, it is hard to imagine ways of child-rearing other than those that are conventional in their communities. They are amazed, sometimes outraged, that anybody could do things differently.

You can read the feature here (PDF).

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dm_epilepsy_feb2017

The Daily Mail has done it again. Yes, I realise that I should never be surprised by anything that appears in the Daily Fail, but I can’t help but be shocked that yet again they have equated epilepsy with violent behaviour.

Take this story which appeared on the website today: Epileptic plasterer who ‘killed a banker with a single punch on a night out attacked him “because he felt threatened” after one of his victim’s friends made a comment about his race

Did he punch the man while his limbs were jerking during a seizure? No. Was he dazed and confused after coming round from a period of unconsciousness? No. Does the fact that he has epilepsy have anything to do with his violent and ultimately fatal outburst? No.

He left his job after being diagnosed with epilepsy. That’s it.

He told jurors he worked as a plasterer for about four years after leaving school, but quit work after he was diagnosed with epilepsy following a seizure.

‘I haven’t been able to work. I stay at home pretty much,’ he said.

He’s 31 now, so that’s a long time not to work. Many – or indeed probably most – people with epilepsy work and lead normal, fulfilling lives. Normal, fulfilling lives which don’t involve punching people and causing their death. Epilepsy had nothing, and I repeat NOTHING, to do with that violent rage.

The Daily Mail has form for this. Back in October 2012 I was so incensed with a very similar piece – that gem was Epileptic man stabbed his noisy neighbour to death with a fish knife in row over eviction – that I wrote and complained to the paper. This is what I wrote. I didn’t get a response, of course. The chap in the piece had mental health problems which clearly contributed to the tragic outcome. Again, his epilepsy had nothing to do with it but was just a peg.

Woo, look at those crazy epileptics! They are mentally ill! Maybe they’re actually possessed by demons? We’re all going to catch it! They’re going to kill us all!

Right, people?

As I wrote in my previous complaint:

  • The term “epileptic” is used in the headline and copy as almost a justification for this man’s violent behaviour. In fact, his having epilepsy was of no relevance to the story whatsoever.
  • Relating this man’s violent crime to his epilepsy only serves to reinforce ill-informed prejudices and the unnecessary stigma which people with epilepsy incredibly still face. If he had had asthma, would the headline have been “Asthmatic plasterer […] “killed a banker””?
  • Don’t get me started on the use of the label “epileptic”. As a person with epilepsy, I refuse to be defined by the condition. It’s just a very small part of who I am – I am not “an epileptic”. In the same way that people would surely not refer to a “Downs Syndrome baby” in this day and age, it would be fantastic if people with epilepsy could be granted the same respect.

I know I shouldn’t give the Daily Mail the oxygen of publicity but this really grinds my gears.

This kind of unhelpful media representation only serves to reinforce the stigma and prejudice which sadly still exist. No one needs to be ashamed of having epilepsy.

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