Good morning everyone,

My name is Gail and I’m Mom to 3 kids, ages 6, 2 and a baba now almost 8 months.

Me, well why did I sign up – well if I’m honest Carolyn and audience it wasn’t because I had heard how wonderful the course was. I didn’t know that then. To be quite frank, It was because I find being a stay-at-home mom lonely and as I had just moved into Drogheda with my family I thought it may be a way to get out of the house and meet other parents.

And this rather selfish, rudimentary objective was more than achieved. A huge thanks, to you my fellow IY graduates for listening, sharing your lives, ideas and solutions. Furthermore, this course proved that if ever “a problem shared is a problem halved” then its never truer than when parenting.

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Secondly, in the early days of re-adjustment with a newborn in the house, I lost my cool one manic bedtime and burst one of the kids’ balloon in anger. And I knew then that I needed to do something different. So I signed up the very next morning, where I met I our Incredible Years organisers Paula & Nicola. I’d like to thank you both for the tremendous efforts throughout the course.

The energy, positivity and desire you both demonstrated was in no small part due to how strongly they believe in this course and its principles. A special call from out to our school liaisons Maire and Annette as I know you invested time and effort behind the scenes coordinating. And to my in-laws Angela & Peter for minding Max every week thereby allowing me attend.

In the days and weeks before starting the course I used to have negative chat in my head that the family would be better off without me. Definitely a sign of my inability to cope and A touch of the baby blues perhaps in there as well. When asked on the first day what my goal for attending was: I said that I wanted to enjoy being a parent.

Now after this incredible course, I no longer run out of the house every evening the second my husband walks in screaming “they’re all yours!“
I now enjoy and love my kids.
Even when they’re awake.
We laugh, we cuddle. In fact when we were introducing the sticker chart to my 6yr old Daughter she requested that I add cuddle time with Mommy to the daily list of activities to be carried out. And she holds me as accountable as I hold her.

Yes we still have testing times but they are less frequent and resolved/ diffused easier and quicker. Best of all I’m better equipped and prepared to be a better parent thanks to the practises advised throughout the course.

I love focusing on the positive, am finding it easier to tune out & ignore the bad behaviour and I’m learning to play. Every day.

I’d like to finish with a saying that my Mom had embroidered as a tapestry when we were young and hung in our house for years. And I never really understood the wisdom of it until this course.
So to finish:
“I hope my children look back on today and see a parent who had time to play. There will be years for cleaning and cooking but children grow up when we’re not looking.”

Thank you.