Agnes Relihan

Hand in Hand Certified Instructor

Hello, Im Agnes, I have two kids, a boy, who is 9, and a girl, who is 8.   I have an Irish heart as I live in Ireland and have done so since I was 18, but I have a big old English heart too as I was brought up in London.

I want to tell you straightaway that I don’t want to be defined as just a parent who is living a life just for her kids, but the irony and truth is that being a parent is what I really love and is so far my greatest achievement. It far surpasses my day to day work (business advisor), academic career (M.A), or financial successes (until recession kicked in) over the years.

It was through Hand in Hand Parenting, that I moved to a more conscious way of parenting, enabling me to be more aware and present for myself and my children. I do try my best at it, being open and honest to myself and my children as to who they are, however I do have to tell you,  this is not possible for me all the time but through my years of practising, being supported and training with other like minded parents I do my best at it, and I achieve it a good amount of the time.  I have made big changes in how I parent my kids over the years. I can truly say, I have managed to lessen the amount of times I loose it with my kids, I've become more playful , I've learnt how to truly listen to them through the upsets, tantrums, nightmares, hair pulling and more and to help them find a way through what is troubling them. It has not always been a straight road but we have got there as I've  learnt to trust my instincts about my kids and my family and me and not always to be lead by others  or experts who don’t know us as well as I do.

I want to say, that you can change old patterns, especially ones  that affect your parenting, and a big pattern for me would have been not being very honest with myself, so here are some things that you might find interesting about me, that I would have found hard to say in the past, and I can now:

  • I really struggled so much with difficulties in trying to conceive a child and I really detached myself from it and just kept on smiling and ploughing on.
  • I used to find it really hard to be happy for others when they got pregnant but Id smile and play along and then bury the hurt deep.
  • I really enjoyed being pregnant but I never shouted it from the rooftops because I felt guilty for those that might have been struggling like I did and I was scared that I would tempt fate and make something go wrong.
  • I still find it hard to say the word miscarriage.
  • I really enjoy my children and other children and often prefer them to adults because they are honest, fun and they dont have societies conditioning all packaged around them.
  • I really enjoy just feeling the wind on my cheeks.
  • I like a really good laugh.
  • I do swear, quite a bit.

And I am able to say all this freely, and lessen myself from carrying it around as a burden hidden away, because I found other mothers, women and fathers who supported me to touch in with my honest feelings and to become aware of myself . Through this it  allowed me to truly support my family in who they are, and come to know myself better and my needs and  that is hand in hand parenting for me. I hope one day, that we will also get to meet each other in some way. Lots of love to you on your parenting journey too xx.


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