Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My first attempt at wordless wednesday....

Frog's favourite thing to do

Add caption

one very patient dog, named Wombat

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Some things you didn't know

I know it's officially Cheapie Tuesday, but It's comfortable on the couch and Top Gear Australia is on so I refuse to get up and go and find my camera cord for the post I was planning.

Instead, I thought after such a long hiatus from blogging during the computer saga, and since some lovely new people have joined my little piece of the interwebs, I would share with you a little bit more about me.

So here's ten things you might not have known about me before today:

1) I do not cope well with cold. I suffer badly during the dark days of winter when nothing I do can make me warm or put feeling into my toes and fingers. It makes me snarky and irrational. Especially when someone ruins the cosy pocket of warmth in my bed by stuffing around with the covers. Instant snark.

2) I am a Top Gear fanatic. I would sell my spare kidney to spend a day with Richard Hammond. I may sell WonderMan's if necessary.

3) My hair is impossible. I have been told this by multiple hairdressers, over many years. It is neither straight nor curly, and it resists all attempts to make it go either way. And no, it doesn't have lovely "waves" it has kinks. Deranged cockatoo kinks. I can't grow it past my chin because it starts to fall out. One day I will give up and start wearing a wig.

4) I gave up Textiles classes in year 9 so I could take extended French. Now I am preparing to train in dressmaking and fashion design. I have never used my French outside of class, but if landed in the French countryside I would not go hungry because I can order a cheese sandwich and a bottle of wine fluently.

5) I am out of proportion. Seriously. The measurement from my hips to my toes is the same as my hips to my head. I am the definition of "a bit short one end".

6) I can wear heels all day and dance all night. If I spend a day shopping in flats I will arrive home crippled and unable to get out of the car. But I love my heels and my flats equally.

7) I have two half brothers I have never met. And a sister I wish I didn't have.

8) I used to race sidecars with my dad. We came second in the state two years running. They were the best two years of my life, and even though I would give anything to have them back, I'm so overwhelmingly proud of Dad and his new passenger, who brought home the state title this weekend. I cried, serial.

9) I have an epidural injury caused by a sadistic midwife. It took me six months to walk without a pronounced limp, and I still have only partial feeling in my left leg.

10) I am a massive Terry Pratchett fan. I was given Witches Abroad at age 11, and I have almost every Discworld book written. I've read them all so many times I have had to replace most of them at least once because they fell apart from love.

So now you know ten more things about me.

I'd love you to share something about you!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Yay! We have a decision!

I told you we are leaving right? Well now we have an ok on WonderMan's new job, although we don't have a start date yet.

But we have decided he's taking it, and that the kids and I will move at the end of the year.

I have decided I have until Christmas to reduce our stuff as much as possible without living off milk crates.

I've also decided I've had enough of moving our freaking heavy couch and I need to have saved enough money to buy a new ikea one by the time we move. And various other things I find while looking through the catalogue my cousin has so nicely saved for me (because I live in Hicksville I don't get a catalogue, gypped).

I've decided not to feel bad about leaving my family. They don't want us to go, so they make us feel like we are making a bad decision, or running away, or rushing in to things.

Well I can tell you this has been a VERY carefully thought out decision.

And we are carefully planning every step.

And I can't wait.

I'm a little sick of the guilt trip my parents play on me every time I make a decision either A) without consulting them, or B) that they don't like. I am twenty seven. I have my own family, with all the difficult decisions involved with that. I have my own voice, my own opinion, my own life to live.

And I'm not going to tie myself down to what they want for my life. Just because my mum is stuck in Hillbilly Hell, does not mean I have to be. It's almost like "if I have to suffer it, so do you". All the bullying, all the bullshit, the only thing she ever has to say is "well you just have to put up with it". Um excuse me? WHY should I put up with it?

Exactly. I don't have to. And neither do my children, like Tiger, who is the target of consistent and insidious bullying from girls whose parents can't accept who I am.

We're finding our way through our future, not running away from our past.

Get over it already, okay?

P.S. Blogger is being weird, someone help me switch to somewhere else, before I lose everything, including my mind.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

This is why I love you

(Beware, I may be a little rambly, because I've drunk a bottle of Rose and I'm posting from my oh so warm and comfy bed where my brain does not function so well.)

Thanks to the lovely ladies at magnetoboldtoo, maidinaustralia, nobashake, I've been inspired to write this post - a post about acceptance.

We had a discussion about helping out at school and elsewhere, and why we hate it.

Simultaneously discussing whether we shared our blogs with our family and friends and why.

There was an overwhelming theme running through these tweets, and that was the lack of acceptance from the people around us.

I found myself with much company when I said I didn't share my blog with my family because they don't really get the whole concept, and would probably spend a lot of time lecturing me about what I had to say.

I really do feel like I can't talk to them about what I do, because it is so alien to them they can't understand or accept it. They just give me strange looks like I should be seeing an analyst.

And it's not just my family. Sitting down to dinner at a work training night a couple of weeks ago I actually had to explain what a blog was to my colleagues sitting around the table. After 30 seconds even my non nerdy self had managed to make their eyes glaze over and could read the "just keep nodding and maybe the crazy lady will leave" signs a mile away.

Am I so alone in this?

Well apparently not, because it seems most of the lovely and talented bloggers I meet are treated to the incredulous looks and "what the hell?" comments that I keep coming up against.

I don't just get this because I blog. I get it when I want to wear a dress. In summer. To go to the shops and buy milk. In Hicksville if you dress nicely you are stared at so hard you start to wonder if you have grown a second head.

My mum and I like to laugh - serious people get wrinkles. But when we go out together and we have a laugh at a joke, or tease each other just because we can, we get the same "two-heads" reaction with a dash of lemon lips thrown in for good measure. It seems the whole world has been taken over by a race of tight lipped, PC bitches with an overactive serious gene.

The bottom line is, we are not accepted for who we are. Which is a shame, because, just quietly, I can tell you I'm pretty freaking awesome. And so are the other bloggers I have met. Funny, smart, caring and beautiful.

I don't have to keep up appearances for my bloggy/twitter friends. If I put my underwear on backwards they laugh with me about my lack of dressing skills. My family would be horrified, and the rest of the town would just laugh AT me.

When times are tough, I want to know that I can lean on those around me, but I find myself retreating more and more into my internet life as I search for someone who will listen, who will offer a word of comfort, or some advice to get me through. If someone asks me how I am in the supermarket and I tell them I'm not doing so good, they start sidling away as if I'm nuts. I would rather hear the truth instead of "Hihowareyouimfinethanks" a hundred times. Because if I care enough about you to ask how you are, I'm going to care enough to help you if things aren't so great. But the real people I meet don't seem to give a rats.

This is also why I don't like anything run by mummies.

If you are looking for a good dose of bitchy, with a side dish of lack of acceptance, volunteer at your local school. Or football club.

I have never, ever spent a day in my kid's school canteen, and I never will. Because I know what goes on in there and I'm just not interested. Despite trying my hardest to be involved in my community I have been kicked in the guts enough times to know it's better to live through the fleeting moment of guilt, rather than the hours of mummy bitch torture involved. I'm a bullying survivor, and I see no reason to relive that by putting myself in a cramped kitchen for 5 hours with the very same people who bullied me in high school.

Instead, I go to my local cafe, drink mochas and tweet about how I'm not doing stupid canteen duty. And send twitter tissues to those who have just got home from tuckshop and are vowing to move to Canada before they ever do it again.

I think a lot of this unaccepting attitude comes from the loss of community in it's true form. No one takes time to know the people around them, to care about them, to share their lives. No one listens any more.

We are all so busy keeping up with the thousand demands of everyday that we just don't give to others anymore.

This is why I feel so much more loved and valued in my online life. It's a community. We share, we laugh, we cry, we send good thoughts and wishes, we virtual hug, we CARE for each other.

And we don't mind if you are in your panda pjs, because we are most probably in ours too.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

One more freaking time and I swear......

Okay, here's my huge freaking bitchy rant for the week.

There is a pervert in Hicksville. A dirty old man who likes to put his hand in his pocket while he's staring down your top. 

This guy creeps me out so much I break out in a cold sweat if I see him walking down the street and I am in my car, with like, a tonne of metal between me and him.

He leers, he stands WAAAAAY to close if you are ever unlucky enough to be in the same place as him, and he never takes his hand out of his fucking trackies pocket.

Normally, I manage to avoid him by being very alert, and removing myself from anywhere he happens to be, like dropping an entire shopping trolley full of groceries and doing the bolt until my favourite checkout guy comes to tell me he's gone. 

I've tried to run over him once when he was riding his freakmobile. But I missed because he swerved while staring at a woman who was walking down the street *dammit to hell*

This week I am certain he is stalking me.

I have come across him in the supermarket twice, he has been into the place I work at least once a day EVERY DAY this week, and now, just when I was starting to relax he came into my dad's shop that I was keeping an eye on while dad fixed the washing machine the bitch managed to fuck up.

He didn't even say "hello" when he came in the door, he just grinned and licked his lips. So I stayed where I was, safe behind my four foot high counter and asked him what he wanted. He wanted a price on a chainsaw, oh goody. The ones in the front window. Fuck. 

Huzzah, a handy price list happened to be in SuperGranny's in tray. No need to exit safe office area. 

So he FUCKING CAME INTO IT. And stood right next to me, and every time I stepped back he got closer. And dad has moved the "peacemaker" that was under the counter because a friendly type copper told him it probably shouldn't be in plain sight. Fuck fuck double fuck.

I seriously wish dad hadn't taken the dog home with him, because Dobermans almost always get their point across, and are quite handy at deterring dirty old men.

Anyway, he left, eventually. After I went and held the door open for him. While standing behind it so he couldn't get near me. And wishing I was capable of telling him to fuck off, but I'm too damn polite, and I was so freaked I couldn't speak properly.

If he comes near me one more fucking time I will beat him to death with a toothpick. 

And someone needs to make a law that locks up freaky creeps.

That is all.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A is for Apple

I ordered an iPhone today.

A white one.

I'm so excited I can't sit still!

I've already visited heaven (eBay) and ordered a pretty leather flip case, and some clear thingos to protect my screen because I need all the help I can get.

I ordered WonderMan an iPhone too, but in black, because a man toting a white iPhone just says "princess" to me....

Excuse me while I go and google how to use the damn thing.... so I'm at least slightly prepared when it arrives.....


Monday, 22 August 2011

Cheapskate Tuesday

I'm all about recycling this week.

I've spoken before about how I seem to be on an almost permanent declutter. I am still chucking stuff out but *hopefully* not bringing as much stuff into our lives.

I can slowly see a difference, as the house doesn't seem as piled up with stuff on the days I don't have time to do much housework.

Even when Frog decides the whole contents of her room belong scattered between my kitchen and loungeroom (and this was before 9am!) it's not such a huge task to take it all back anymore.

I think I may be winning..... a bit!

As I've been simplifying our lives I've come across a bit of a problem. We have stuff we no longer need, the op shop doesn't want, and I don't want to throw out (not because it's "too good" but because I feel awful creating waste that is unecessary)

There's not really enough to make a garage sale. And in fact a lot of it I would have in a "please nick off with this box asap" pile, but it's not worth the effort of blowing up some balloons and making a sign because I'm not trying to get rid of any large items like a couch or some nesting tables (who has those? seriously? they are the stupidest design I've ever seen) and no one would come.

I've been putting things in a "re-use" box and waiting for inspiration to strike.

Yesterday WonderMan helped me with phase one of my recycling mission. He drilled some holes in the bottom of a very old and warped muffin tin. Later this week the cups will be filled with potting mix and sprinkled with herb seeds.

Useless kitchen junk becomes kitchen garden!

I have another very old bread tin, which I don't use because I don't bake bread. That's what my grandmother is good at and I don't want to disappoint her with my lack of home made bready bliss skills.

With the help of WonderMan and his trusty drill it's going to become a strawberry pot. It will nicely fit two strawberry plants, one for each of the girls. And being small and movable I can put it up out of the way of the local blue tongue lizards, so we may actually get to enjoy some of the berry sweetness!

My mother uses pretty coffee mugs with broken handles for window pots. She just pops a small plant in it's pot inside the cup (small succulents or ferns work best) and lines them up on her windowsill. It sounds strange but in reality is quite pretty!

Pictures of my kitchen/garden goodness will be up later in the week.

Have a look in your cupboards.... think about how much you use things..... pop unused items in a box or cupboard and look in there whenever you are starting a new project and you "just need a few things". You will be suprised what you can create with all that "junk".

I would love you to share your recycling ideas/projects. Pictures or suggestions can be emailed to me at ~ I will collate them into a post for you all to share!

Good Morning Monday

And how are we today?

If you're anything like me you are wishing like crap it was a second Sunday, and seeing how many times you can push the snooze button and still get to work on time...

But apart from some general Mondayitis, I am not cranky this morning. Even after having to make Frog a second breakfast because she ate the first with WonderMan early this morning and is now shouting at Tiger that it's "Mine brekky! No Tiger eatta rice bubbles!"

Even after I had to prise Frog off of WonderMan so he could leave for work. Even though I was all "Now you know how it feels, hah!" inside my heart melted for him. It's the first time she's been clingy to him, not me, and he looked like if she said "I wuv you daddy, daddy no go work" one more time he was going to quit right then.

Even after realising I've been sick for a week, the only week I have had not working. And if you don't count lying in bed and dying I haven't had a weekend off for a month. Yesterday was gorgeous, and there I was, stuck in my car, driving out in the middle of nowhere, and being attacked by people's "very friendly" dogs. After the twentieth waste of time I quit for the day and spent time switching Frog between the swing and the "twampodeleeene!" Who could refuse when she asks with such cuteness?

I'm off to work again today, but at least there are no dogs (unless you count the lady who carries her rat dog in to say hi because it's not allowed to walk on the floors but she won't leave it outside). And it's magazine day, which means I get in first. And it will be warm, and comfy, and I will be able to talk to people - REAL PEOPLE - instead of just answering Richard Stubbs on the ABC.

And because it's Monday, and not a daycare day, I get to drop off Frog at Granny's house for the day. Which will annoy the Bitch, a lot. Which is JUST THE WAY I LIKE IT.

I may even look smug at her for no reason just to see the frown lines on her forehead grow.

If I'm having a good day I may even tell her where to go.

Because she's not my freaking problem anymore.

We're leaving, remember?

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Because we can

We're moving on....

Not immediately, there's still so much to be organised.

But we have a direction, a way forward, and we are jumping in with both feet.

It's time to leave behind the ghosts of this place.... to give myself and my children a life free of the past.

Many people will open their big fat mouths and say we are running away, that it won't solve our problems.

We are not looking for a solution, a miracle cure.

We are looking for a way forward. OUR way.

This is the stepping stone to our future. And I can't wait to take that first step.

Some people will think we are crazy, I know our parents will. But I have grown enough to realise that is just them wishing we could be right there with them in their own loving selfish way. They will love us just as much whether we are around the corner or half way across the world.

And the best part is that this time I have TIME. Time to plan, time to pack, time to organise schools, childcare, a job.

The weirdest part is I have NEVER been to where we are going. Neither has WonderMan. We have been close, but only as a drive through to somewhere else.

I should be freaking out.

Instead I'm dancing inside.

Welcome to the future kids, lets see what we find.....

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Not such a great idea

I did something really stupid tonight.

I decided to try something I quit ages ago, something I struggled to give up on and was so damn proud of myself for kicking.

I used to be a smoker. I have been quit since February. And tonight I had a smoke. *BLERCH*

WonderMan announced he was going to have a cigarette. He had some from the pre-quit days which had been rattling around in his glove box for all these months. So I (being a complete FOMO) insisted I have one too.

I now feel more ill than I have felt in years. I cannot believe I did that to myself several times a day, every day for years.

It tatses disgusting, smells disgusting and makes me feel disgusting.

And I don't miss it one bit.

So just for the record, I can tell you that is one habit I will never start again.

Excuse me while I go and scrub my mouth.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Home is where the couch fits

I am avoiding the "Great Australian Dream"

I used to live in the fantasy land where I saved for a deposit on my own home but after living for a whole 27 years now, and realising how old and crabby I would be by the time I paid it off, I've come to the realisation that I would be better off just living in someone else's debt palace.

There are many upsides to renting:

When stuff breaks, you call someone, and they hand the bill to someone else. This is a great reason for me to rent because if something essential can break, in a spectacular way, on Christmas Eve or some other entirely impossible time - it does. Without fail.

It's cheaper - especially when you consider mortgage payments, plus rates, plus maintenance, plus insurance, plus random lawsuits with the neighbours over your fence...... you get the picture. It just makes good financial sense when you are at the lower end of the income scale.

There are lots of other good things, like knowing that ultimately it doesn't have to be forever, and you can always go and do somewhere else without a pile of bricks dragging along behind you.

And during recent times of severe financial struggle we were only facing moving into the caravan, not moving into the caravan with a great big DEFAULT notice for $300,000 hanging over our heads. For that I am quite thankful.

Sometimes it bugs me. Especially when I consider the strange and outmoded laws that require you to have equity in a home to get a business loan. Meaning I effectively have to beggar myself with debt so I can loan money for the business I want to own in years to come.

That's a bit of a blow to my long term goals.

There's also things like landlords with a passion for dark purple suede effect feature walls. In the bedroom. And being so tasteless they decided "bugger the feature, we'll paint ALL the walls this fabbo colour, aren't we stylish bastards?" Because everyone wants to buy a house that looks like it should have a 40 year old woman with a beehive 'do, smoking under the red porch light. 

That house did have a lovely garden, including a "fairy house" hidden away behind the great big shady tree in the middle of the delightful backyard, and we would have stayed there except one end of the house collapsed a bit, and then the wiring caught fire, and then it collapsed some more. (One more bad thing about renting - you don't automatically get a qualified building inspection before you move in. You just have to hope you notice when the smoke starts coming out of the corner of the house.)

But like I said, you can always go somewhere else. Because it's not your 30 year investment listing like a drunk man on his way home from the pub.

Some people rent for life. Nice tenants meet nice landlords and everything goes swimmingly and no one feels the need to change the status quo. My parents have been renting the same house for 13 years, and before that lived for 15 years in a farm house that the same landlord owned.

If I did this, five years in I would be dragged, mummified, from my clutter cave by intrepid explorers, who would end up haunted by visions of millions of Christmas cards burying them alive.

I consider moving part of my decluttering cycle. I moved five times in four years and every single time we took a trailer to the local tip, and filled the Vinnies drop off bin to the top.

It's actually quite an effective way to keep my house tidy. I just look at each room and say "What in here could I be arsed packing?" And everything else goes.

So for me, the biggest upside to renting is not ending up a crazy cat-lady, snarling at the Meals on Wheels lady because she gets too close to my shopping bag mountain, or tips over the catalogued bread tie collection.

Because I would. I know this as instinctively as I know where my own nose is.

I think it's time I moved again. Just in case.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Sleep Allergies

My children have a sleep allergy.

Or possibly a bed intolerance.

Either way, it's driving WonderMan and I to distraction.

Instead of getting to watch tv together, or snuggle in bed and yak about our day, or not yak if you get my drift; we are spending the two minutes before exhaustion hits counting each other's lack-of-sleep related tics to see if any more have arrived overnight.

Tiger is not too bad, although I'm suprised she doesn't have permanent gravel rash on her chin with the long face she pulls every time we ask her to get into her pyjamas. Even though she slid off the couch and banged her head on the floor because she feel asleep sitting up. She then goes to bed and reads for hours despite me wrenching the book out of her cold frozen hands, duct taping her eyes closed and threatening to make her go to school in her pyjamas if she doesn't get up on time tomorrow.

Frog.... well Frog has decided she "no like it Frog bed". She wants to sleep on her fold out couchy thing. In the lounge room. Because something may happen that she misses two seconds of and then, of course, the world will end.

After much negotiation (toddler negotiation.... total oxymoron....) we settled for sleeping on the fold out couch in her room. It's been three nights, and I she still "no like it bed".

3am brings baby elephant footsteps across the hall and into my bedroom. She lifts the quilt, climbs in, tosses and turns, snuggles up and announces "Frog like it mummydaddy bed. I wub you mummy, i sleepit your bed" then turns over and starts snoring. I tried sleeping on the other side to deter her but she just climbs over WonderMan and takes over all but a few inches of my side of the bed. I'm starting to lose weight purely from all the effort required to not fall out.

I suffer from either crushing exhaustion or crippling insomnia. Most times it's a combination of both. If Frog is sleeping, I am wide awake. As soon as my poor tired head decides to finally switch off, she is awake and fighting me for my own share of the blanket.

She sleeps an hour each day that she is at daycare. A perfect hour that leaves her refreshed, balanced, and not a blubbering mess by 4pm. At home she will spend four hours howling "frooooogggg tiiiiiireeeeeed!" but not sleep a wink. By the time WonderMan arrives home from work we are usually both howling amongst the wreckage that is supposed to be our home.

WonderMan sleeps perfectly, the bastard. I quite often wake him up "accidentally" in the middle of the night when Frog is keeping me awake and he has been snoring and drooling on my pillow since 8pm. And I don't feel guilty about this at all because he got off so lightly for the first fifteen months when I was breastfeeding - it wasn't like I could wake him up and say "Your turn dear"....

The good news about being awake at 4am? I get to read all the fabulous blogs I don't have the time for during the day. It's the only time I get to answer all your lovely comments posted here. So in some ways, Frog is at least keeping me from a reputation as a complete and utter snob.

There's a silver lining to everything...

Monday, 8 August 2011

Some days....

... I just want to walk away...

Today is one of those days. And it's just hit 8:40am.

It starts with WonderMan, who in so many ways is a wonderman but in the most irritating and stupid little ways is most definitely failing at his title.

Like shutting the garden gate when he walked through it yesterday. As I was making my morning cup of coffee I looked out the window and there is the damn gate, standing open, as it has been all night. This is is the same man who does this on a regular basis and is still puzzled as to how our dog got out and was hit by a car. *grumble*

Then I looked a little bit around the kitchen and realised, he hadn't even put the few little things away from making dinner last night. Or from making his breakfast. *groan*

It's not like he was in a rush. For the first time in months we could afford to register both our cars again and he was driving himself, meaning he had at least half an hour more at home. So he arsed about and annoyed me instead of doing something as simple as picking up after himself. Because in my current burnt-out over-worked state I really needed someone to irritate me first thing in the morning, or more slaving away in my domestic hell *swear words*

Frog came next with an insistence that she shout at Tiger everytime she moved, and then cried her eyes out while following me around the house when I told her to stop. This happened at least twenty times in an hour. *scream*

Tiger decided to completely push the last nerve I had by announcing "I can't find my runners."

*big deep breath*

I asked where she had taken them off last and she said "At my friend's house". The one over 100kms away, where she stayed for the weekend. So I asked what shoes she had worn home, oh the other ones, righto..... so where are your runners? "At my friend's house". You didn't think you should put them back in your suitcase? "I forgot". Right. *fume*

I only bought those runners about four weeks ago.

Then she brought out her lunchbox which had been sitting in her school bag all weekend. And some crumpled notes about parent-teacher interview bookings, only the interviews are happening TONIGHT and I was supposed to book a week ago.  *groan*

Then she announced she was ready and I realised she was wearing a pair of her best jeans, a dirty school t-shirt, and no jumper. Where are your school pants hmmm? "I dunno. Can't find any." So I opened the drawer and got some out. And a clean t-shirt. Where is your jumper? "I dunno." One is in the wash, I know this because I pulled it out of the machine this morning and it's still waiting to go on the line. Where's the other one? "Probably in the lost property bin at school" Why on earth would it "probably" be there? "Because I left it in the playground." For the millionth time. *more fuming*

So not only has she lost a school jumper, it's not even the one I that is too small that I am handing on to a friend, it's the one I bought less than three weeks ago, at a phenominal cost because apparently putting a teeny tiny logo on a blue jumper triples the price.   *scream*

So now I have to replace TWO jumpers, not one. And I have to do it today because she can't continue to go to school in the rain without a jumper. And I have to add to that a pair of runners because, according to the phone call I just received, the ankle boots I forced her to wear this morning (after I stopped shrieking) are inappropriate school wear. I did happen to mention the fact that I thought runners were inappropriate and school uniform policy stated black school shoes, but I was informed everyone wears them because they have fitness everyday, and it's too much trouble to get them to change their shoes. Which makes a joke of the whole school uniform policy. But that's one of my rants best saved for another time.

So basically, this morning has been a complete and utter waste of the two weeks work I just did because I now have to fork it all out to replace things that should not need to be replaced. Forgive me for crying my eyes out, because I worked so hard over the last two weeks I actually reached full melt down-burn out and had to spend a whole day in bed where it was too much effort to read the newspaper or turn over. It was agony, and I'm still trying to recover.

I feel like my family delights in making my life as miserable and slave like as possible. And I can tell you that at this point, I really do just want to walk away, because Frog just took off her nappy for the hundreth time today, has spread the entire jar of sultanans I left on the bench all over the kitchen floor, I have an entire fortnights worth of washing waiting to dry and it's raining.

I don't care how much I love them, some days it's just too much.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

You're just WHAT??

I had a chance encounter today that made me stop and question everything I thought was true in life....

I spoke to a beautiful woman whose first words were "I can't answer anything, I'm just the wife". It took me a minute to recover enough to finish what I needed to do and drive away.

I almost stopped and took issue with what she said, but that's not my place. And she would probably find me extremely rude, if not completely bonkers.

How on earth could she believe she was "just a wife" ??

How can a beautiful, intelligent woman who has an important role to play in our society believe that she was worth so little?

And believe me, that's what she meant. She followed it up by implying she was nothing, less than the farm dog.

She was seriously underestimating herself and her place in the world and when I drove away I didn't know whether to shout or cry.

I am a label hater - as WonderMan found out one night when I left him my ring and threatened to walk away after he introduced me to a friend by saying "And this is the wife". I can laugh at someone who calls me the "c word" but call me "the wife" or "woman" and I start to consider ancient and illegal forms of torture.

I don't believe a wife is a nobody. Marriage is a partnership. Both people have an important role to play and it is up to each of them to work out what that role is. Being a mother is the biggest sacrifice and challenge you could ever be faced with. So why are these terms STILL being used in such a chauvanistic way? And by the women themselves, not the husband or family?

Let me tell you something, I have not done the daily dishes in my household for over a year. I might do the odd sinkfull when I've been baking or when we have had people over during the day. But I don't wash the daily dinner dishes ever. That's WonderMan's job and he does it better than me. I cook beautiful food, I bake so my family have lunches for school and work, I wash clothes, I iron, I change stinky nappies, I scrub the shower. But show me a dish towel and I'll look at you blankly. It's part of how we share the load, because we realise bringing up a family and running a partnership is a big task, that can't easily be shouldered by one person.

WonderMan has always seen me as a person, not a wife or mother. He respects my body, my mind, my place in our family, my opinions (even when they are stupid). And I do the same for him. He supports me without question, he takes on my responsibilities when I am overcommited and can't manage it all. I do the same for him. We are a partnership, we are equal.

We recently were reminded how strange our situation is after catching up with an old friend and his girlfriend the other day.

I gasped aloud when his friend took us on a tour of the house, and as he opened the door to the kitchen said "That's the woman's area".

Even WonderMan was offended. He spent the next few hours dropping hints about being a WonderMan, as opposed to a bastard husband.

It was so degrading a comment that I almost packed up the family and walked away, and even though it was said with a grin and a joking tone, it made me cranky as hell. And do you know what? She laughed. She agreed with him, and as far as I could see was not bothered by this comment at all. I was horrified!

How can we say one person is less than another?

What I see around me are women killing their own fight for equality. Now, I'm not going to rush out and burn my bra because that's stupid and besides, these babies are so small no one would even notice.

Maybe I am different to the world around me. My grandmother insisted that all of her girls have a qualification. She made it quite clear that she did not expect them to be married off and out of her hands asap. She knew the value her daughters could contribute to this world, she herself has contributed so much.

My mother always taught me that I had value, that I had much to give and should not bow to anyone's idea of a girl's place in society. She taught me to walk with my head held high and be proud of who I am and what I have achieved. I teach my girls the same.

Am I the only one?

Tonight I want to send a message to every woman in the world...

You are beautiful, you are special, you contribute in so many ways to the lives of everyone around you. Your opinion matters, your voice deserves to be heard.

Please, PLEASE, don't sell yourself short.

Monday, 1 August 2011

The Monster Is Here

It's lurking in the shadows.... I can feel it creeping up on me.

We all know it, the gut twisting feeling... the doubts start forming, the cracks start appearing...

Mummy Guilt is in the building.

As a parent we have all felt it at some time. It doesn't matter whether we stay at home, go to work, co-sleep, insist on separate rooms, allow them to play outdoors, wrap them in cotton wool, punish or coerce, actively engage or drink vodka and call them free range.........

You get my drift.

I have a work contract that has a very specific timeline. The first part of this contract only has a small window for completion and means that I have had to spend two days away from my family for 8 hours a day (on a weekend) and tomorrow as well. I don't have any room to move because my other job has booked me for 9 hours days from Wednesday until Friday, and by that time my contract has to be finished.

I know, I know, many of you work much more than that, but I'm only recently back into this situation and it's still making me tired and cranky okay?

This morning, Tiger was meant to be at school at 8am to go on her first school camp, overnight to the big city. She had been looking forward to it all week. She woke up telling WonderMan she had a squirly tummy, ate two bites of breakfast and vomited in the (thankfully) tiled hallway.

No camp. That was fine, WonderMan has his RDO today. Cool.

Not cool. With Tiger sick, Mummy spending all weekend out and coming home to eat and sleep (literally) Frog wasn't having any of this "Mummy's going to work now" business.

She cried. And howled. And shrieked "Muuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmyyyyy doooooonnnnn't gooooooooo woooooooorrrrk!" in amongst her copious tears. Despite WonderMan's best efforts she was heartbroken.

Cue the mummy guilt.

I drove away wanting to cry. I actually considered ringing my supervisor and cannng the whole lot despite the outrageous pay packet I am going to receive at the end.

I got down the road and I DID cry. A lot. Probably more than Frog did.

It doesn't matter what we do there always comes a point when we feel we have done the wrong thing. Even though the kids were in WonderMan's more than capable hands, I feel it's my jo to watch over them, to nurse them when they are sick, and hold them while they cry.

It doesn't matter whether you are a mummy or a daddy, we all feel it sometimes. We hold out for the day we get a break from the insanity and madness that is family life and get to do something all by ourselves, and then spend the whole window of time by ourselves worrying if we are causing a traumatic experience that will affect our children's sanity in years to come. Even though in reality they are having the time of their lives with people they love.

It does make me feel better to know that if they were cryng, it was WonderMan comforting them. There isn't anyone else in the world I would choose if I couldn't be there. And that's what love is I guess.

And a picture of Frog dancing in my favourite leg warmers did the trick..... from that point on I knew she was fine.