My IdeaLife

My Kingdom for a Kiss Upon Her Shoulder

It's been 18 years since his blood warmed our hearts and his, but his voice remains and still inspires...Read more...

The love of your life

Is it a man, is it a career, no it's superbaby!...Read more...

A lifetime of beauty in a song

Middle East (the band not the place) have somehow condensed the human experience into this soulful song: Blood...Read more...

Superwomen have it all by NOT doing it all

Superwoman really don't exist, it's more like Insanitywoman, so stop pretending and start outsourcing...Read more...

Friday, 30 March 2012

Here's to the crazy ones that change the world: Digital Parents Conference 2012



"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels the troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status quo.You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, about the only thing you can't do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones we see genius because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do."


Today I spoke on a panel at the Digital Parents Conference in Melbourne on working with brands. I started the session with this ad from Apple in 1997 because it is so inspirational and it still rings true today. The only thing that is a little different is that genius is no longer only found in the ranks of famous people.

It is found in the true story of someone's life, the humour that keeps someone else going, the drive another has for a good cause and the courage they all have to share part of themselves on their blog. Social media is a revolution, it gives nobodies a voice and it moves influence back to many rather than few.

That passion and influence is worth more than a bottle of moisturiser, and I hope from today we will realise that when we choose to collaborate with brands that we love and are passionate about, we'll remember that.

 I dedicate this to any one with an internet connection. You can change the world and if you are not certain well you can be certain that some of you have already changed at least one life today.


I have listed the twitter handles of those who moved me today below, please add your gamechangers too!



Andrea @FoxinFlats
 Clint @ReservoirDad
Nathalie @EasyPeasyKids
Lisa @sawhole
Darren @problogger

and of course Maria @mums_word Trae @glowless Kirrily @shortn_tweet and Brenda @mummytime who made it all happen!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Home is where the hate is...The Slap strikes again.

The Slap even has the NY Times' vote, so it's any wonder that I wrote two articles on it, Aisha's episode airs tonight in the US, here was my take as published on The Punch back in November last year. 
The thousands of words on Twitter reflected my own emotions as I watched ABC TV’s The Slap last week. One tweet said: “it’s totally brutal!”, another: “searing, uncomfortable melancholy” and one more: “did anyone else’s heart sink tonight watching The Slap?”
Fierce, frighteningFierce, frightening
Mine certainly did and I was not the only one. It was a bit close to the bone for many, as it shone an unceremonious light on characters’ Aisha and Hector’s 16-year marriage.
As I watched Aisha fake anger and hurt at Hector’s admission of his minor infidelity, all the while withholding her own more major dalliance, an image of marriage popped into my head: Marriage is a bonfire stack piling higher and higher with hurts, waiting for a spark to ignite an explosion of desire or destruction.
Unfortunately popular culture would have us believe every argument ends in make-up sex but the reality is closer to Aisha’s lack of emotion.
The pain we cause each other over years seems to numb us and more often than not. Nothing ends in nothing, with one in three marriages unfortunately ending in divorce rather than unquenchable desire.
Having been married for eight years, this statistic doesn’t surprise me. It is amazing that it isn’t higher given how cruel we can be to the one person we are meant to love the most.
We seem to save our empathy and kindness for the stranger we strike up an impromptu conversation with or the little old lady that needs a hand up the stairs. Our partners, however, get full-blown resentment, rudeness, neglect and disdain.
These emotions are often balanced with intimacy, trust and loyalty but why, when things are going wrong, do we turn on the person we thought we could not live without?
It’s probably because marriage is tough. And it’s even harder when children come along.
The cute little blighters turn hairline cracks quickly into structural damage.
But they’re not fully to blame and often just accentuate underlying disappointment, which is the real culprit.
It’s any wonder we are set up to fail when the start of a marriage mimics a red carpet event. The wedding is such a pivotal event in our society, you and your spouse never looked better, you have this huge party with friends and family and then you go on holidays somewhere beautiful for at least two weeks.
This fun series of events never happens again as you settle in to living with someone who has a unique type of annoyingness designed to drive you slowly insane.
You hit the treadmill of working towards a home and a family, money issues come up, time together is minimised by work, looking after kids or rare, but sanity-saving time to yourself.
Next thing you know you are old and living with someone who is your co-parenting housemate and that’s about it.
For me and I think a lot of women, the disappointment is based on my expectation that I would have a deep connection with this person as soon as we said ‘I do’.
I obviously had no clue about blokes, where often the only thing that is deep is their inbuilt ability to hide their emotions.
Everyone’s challenge is slightly different but our own unique disappointment ends up looking a lot like Aisha’s face every time she looks at Hector.
Her bonfire of pain is so large she buries it so as not to feel hurt every second of the day. She blames Hector for it and punishes him so she’s not the only one feeling so bloody awful. It is dysfunctional, unkind and near the opposite of love.
But it is human nature to avoid responsibility for your own unhappiness. It is so much easier to blame your partner for trapping you into a life you didn’t expect than facing your own inner flaws and personal failings that got you there.
And looking for a solution in another human that looks as sparkly with potential as your partner once did, well that’s even easier.
As I watched Aisha consider leaving Hector, I thought of my own marriage and imagined if it was over. My heart broke at the thought.
I wouldn’t remember that my husband didn’t hear human voices if sport was on, or that he made the bathroom look like a great dane had just shaken himself off in there.
But I would desperately miss all the things I take for granted. His patience with the boys, his calmness when I feel like I will lose my mind, his pragmatism that balances my dreaminess. His shy blue eyes looking at us with love and wonder and his stoic confidence and ability to just get on with it when others would fall in a heap.
I’m no expert on happy marriages, but seeing the hate and numbness of Christos Tsiolkas’ characters made me realise where I didn’t want to end up.
So I’m off to slap my hubby - with a big fat kiss and if he’s lucky… with some much-earned kindness too. Okay, a bit of something else may be considered. Just don’t tell him, I’d hate to disappoint…
Nicole is a blogger at MyIdeaLife.com.au, a freelance writer, social media junkie and corporate marketer.


Monday, 26 March 2012

"Sometimes we wish for far away" man I love Powderfinger

This song was one of those songs I waited for when I listened to Powderfinger's album Odyssey Number Five, which I happened to listen to a lot in 2000 and 2001. I had just ended a 2 year de-facto relationship at 30 and my life was at a turning point. The understated agony in their music resonated with my own confused heart. 

I was reminded of my buried obsession one night driving home when someone with obviously impeccable music taste, I think on Triple M, played 'DEF', my second favourite song of theirs. And then by my mate Purple_Cath who was sharing her love of Powderfinger yesterday on Twitter. We lamented together their decision to disband.

Powderfinger farewelling the crowd at one of their final concerts... :(

So what better way to reignite my passion for men, such as these, that just reach in to my chest and grab my heart but than writing about it here. Enjoy, and I hope it brings back memories of late nights, dancing in muddy fields and stolen kisses. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The Problem with Mortality: Jim Stynes gone at 45

On the day of Jim Stynes state funeral an edited version of this post was published in the Tele

"All those moments lost in time...like tears in rain...time to die"
BladeRunner 1982


I’m not in to watching sport, in fact when my husband turns it on, daily that is, I go kind of mental and loudly threaten a 24 hour Jane Austen marathon until he changes the channel. But tonight the not so random Fox Sports channel specifically selected to watch a dedication to AFL legend Jim Stynes sent me a different kind of crazy. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I took in the loss of an obviously great man with a rare mix of humility, drive and amazing character. My heart broke as I imagined his wife and children facing a future without what was obviously the backbone of their reality gone. And as I saw the helplessness we all share when the enemy of our time rears it’s ugly head, to cut short another young life at only 45, it was almost too much.

Last year Sarah Watt died of Cancer, a month before her, Steve Jobs, weeks before that Gavin Larkin, a few months before that my cousin, and the list goes on like a morbid game of Chinese Whispers that leaves only grief and sadness in its wake.

We are surrounded by death, a day does not go by in which we are not confronted by mortality. Whether it be a car accident, a suicide bomb or an illness, the TV beams it to us daily. Not surprising really, given over 150,000 people die each day. What is surprising though is how we manage to ignore it, mainly because it is not our own and for years and hopefully whole life times we carve a path through life without looking death squarely in the eye. We live as if immortal.

Even when my Mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer I managed to shelve the situation in the “she’ll be right” category of my brain and luckily she was. Today though my delusion is showing cracks and I don’t know whether it is maturity or just that the people threatened and dying now are peers, but my "eternal" existence is being challenged.

Jim, Steve and Sarah had children, so have I, they were happy, so am I, they were in their 40s, so am I, they were needed, so am I. There it is, the unfamiliar face of death taking someone my age, at my stage of life. It is despicable, wrong and absurd. But most of all it is insanely confronting.

It is an understatement to say I am not happy about this happening. The injustice of it is driving me quietly mad. I am sad and angry and desperate at this interruption to such brilliant existences. “It is NOT fair! this is not how it is meant to be” I scream as I try to return death back to its abstract box, miles away from me. But as I spin hopelessly in my new world without infinity, I realise I need a new way to look at this or I would be of no use to anybody.

Then I remembered what I had heard last year. When it became apparent that Steve Jobs was gravely ill, I watched his speech to Stanford graduates. It left me a blubbering mess then and compelled me to write about his life, but his words were like oxygen for those grieving his loss after he died and I so I share them again as we grieve again today for Jim Stynes:

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart…”
Steve Jobs, 2005

And when Jim Stynes was asked whether he thought what was happening to him was incredibly unjust he responded: 

“Life throws up challenges, life is unfair.
When you understand that, you can get on with your life”. 
Jim Stynes, 2010



He also admitted to being too busy to get a sizable lump on his back checked despite his wife urging him to go to the Doctor. Sound familiar? “Living” does gets in the way of life and if on the day we die we want to look back without regret, listening to those that have at last faced their own mortality is key. 

So maybe instead of seeing a seething monster when death reminds us it exists, we need to see a motivator with a light shining through our material and superficial trappings to our soul and heart. A filter that tears away the unimportant and uncovers what it is we want from our very finite life. 

Unfortunately these inspirational and wise words can’t reduce the intense pain of losing someone we love or the thought of our own self ceasing. But maybe if we accepted that one day our spirit will end with one final synapse firing in our brain. Maybe then and only then would we truly learn how to live, grateful for the things that matter, and looking for ways to find inner happiness and share it with those we love.

When life gets in the way and I forget what really matters I am going to stop and remember the great ones that don’t have the chances I have, to cherish their gorgeous family and friends and to stop sometimes and just be.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam Jim Stynes

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Is everyone's hubby a pørnstar?

Recently a very intelligent man was on TV, I stopped faffing about on Twitter to listen as he was asked, “Do kids ruin marriage?” Without a second thought he responded “I can tell you for free, not having kids [myself], you can still not have sex” Hold the phones! I thought we were talking about marriage?
I’m glad Joe Hildebrand jumped automatically from happy marriage to frequency of sex because now I can stop calling my husband a pørnstar. He’s not a pørnstar, he’s just a normal bloke. Like many pnis-possessors, my husband interprets any word, phrase, action or movement as something to do with sx.
Consider an innocent hug, in the hands of a male it quickly turns into a crash tackle against the kitchen bench. A bend over to pick up a toy is a screaming invitation for a dry run. Getting changed into your PJs is really you saying “Want to play with these fun bags?” while he øgles unashamedly. And reaching for your drink at dinner is a blatant request to touch one of them.
And if your thought actions spoke louder than words try these phrases out on your special pørnstar, I mean man.
She says: Pass the sauce please
He hears: Blah blah you’re a saucy thing blah blah

She says: Can you put out the garbage?
He hears: Blah blah I put out blah blah

She says: Have you heard about that job?
He hears: Blah Blah blah bløw job blah blah

She says: Isn’t it hot today?
He hears: Blah blah you’re so hot blah blah blah

She says: Can you turn on the hose?
He hears: Blah blah I love getting w€t mmnnn blah blah

She says: You are so rude!
He hears: Blah blah get me nµde blah blah blah

As Billy Crystal once said “Women need a reason to have sx. Men just need a place.” Basically whatever you do, as it filters through the male brain it usually pops out as an invitation for sx. You could be swinging a cat at a funeral and you’d hit a bloke ready to shag you in the aisle in front of the coffin.
In the end Joe hit the nail on the head, so to speak, as kids don’t ruin marriage. The rating difference between males and females is actually to blame. Somewhere between his constant R-r@ting and her preferred G-rating falls the growing divorce statistics.
So girls, if you need a hug, want a conversation or have to bend over make sure you’re only in the presence of females. And blokes, another wise man – this time Steve Martin – once said “Don’t have s€x, man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to start talking to them.”
In conclusion there’s a reason most stallions are gelded.....ouch!

This initially appeared on JustB Australia as "Thinking with their little head" on October 5th, 2011

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Bøøb more lethal than The Slap?

'The Slap' captured my imagination back in October 2011 and last week aired in the US. If you haven't seen it yet it has to be one of the best series I've ever seen! Here is how the first episode got to me back then. 



Like a lot of Australians last night I sat glued to the ABC for the debut of ABCTV’s ‘The Slap’, the TV series immortalising the controversial novel of the same name. So there I sat, patiently waiting for the aforementioned slap to occur.

But then a different scene slapped me far harder than a whack ever could. There was a mother still breastfeeding her four year old at a BBQ. In front of a few six year olds, no less.

At this point a collective “Eeeewwww” echoed through Twitter and presumably loungerooms nationally. Then the defence began. Women tweeted furiously: breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful thing! A woman has a right to breast feed for as long as she likes, where she likes!

As a public breastfeeder myself up until five months ago, I have no issue with other women whipping them out wherever they need to. The choice is either a starving baby in pain, screaming it’s head off or a flash of nipple. I know which I would prefer.

Why I screwed up my nose at the scene and then groaned at those defending her afterwards was because this was not a depiction of a child needing a feed. This was a sad dysfunctional scene of parents failing their child on a number of levels. If a little boy is old enough to hit other children, break their expensive games consoles and wield a cricket bat at their heads, he is old enough to be taught the difference between right and wrong, and ordered off to the naughty corner. Instead his insipid mother offers him the reward of a comforting breastfeed.

This is all types of wrong and has very little to do with the rights of mothers worldwide to breastfeed in a “whateverworksforyou” kind of way.

Have we become so politically correct, so populist that we can’t stand up and say that this woman is turning something beautiful into something revolting and wrong? I hope not, because I was completely grossed out and I will not apologise for recoiling as I watched two people selfishly undermine a healthy foundation for their son.

There is something inherently wrong with abusing the responsibility we as parents have. We possess a huge amount of power over our children’s lives and threatening them physically or emotionally, is jeopardising the very framework of which they will rely upon for the rest of their lives. The bøøb, in this case, is as lethal as the slap.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

OMEGA DELIGHT CHANNELS WILLY WONKA IN THE FIGHT AGAINST STUPIDITY

A few weeks back I was kindly invited by The Mother Media to preview a new product by Nature's Own called Omega Delight. I was a bit excited, and not for the obvious reason, that is, we were having lunch at Flying Fish. I was excited because I was about to be introduced to a product that would eliminate one of the million guilty thoughts I have had every single day since I became a Mum. The one being addressed by this event was: 

"Oh my god I haven't cooked fish for the boys again this week...if I don't give them enough fish they don't get Omega-3 and if they don't get Omega-3 their brain development* is stunted and if their brain development is stunted they will not reach their full potential and then they'll end up unhappy, unfulfilled, sad and probably living in a box by the side of the road eating dirt and it will be all MY fault." 

What is Mrs Woog thinking?
As the R&D guys tinkered around with emulsions and humectants, I wondered if they realised that they weren't just creating a fish oil supplement, they were creating a prevention for both insanity in Mothers and homelessness for the future generation. Probably best not to share that with them though, the pressure would have been so distracting they would have never come up with anything as tasty and unique as their blissful ignorance finally produced. 
The last supper of stupidity, brain superiority here we come! 
And it does taste good. Both my toddler boys love it, with Boom wanting more than his one teaspoon dose per day. I suggest putting a third of the dose in a spoon and then give in twice to the cries for more to get the full teaspoon recommended in or just hide the lot in yoghurt! Yes I know, fish oil and yoghurt - yum...but these particular food scientists seem to be giving Willy Wonka a run for their money. I wonder whether 'Roast Dinner' flavour was considered?
 

Anyway I am off to prevent my children becoming lay about, useless adults with some yummy gooey mangoey stuff. And if you know what's good for you, (fish oil in case you haven't been listening) you'll head out and get this stuff (it's a bit pricey but I saw it on special at my local Woolies for half price). 

On to more important things what do you think Mrs Woog was thinking?
Tell us in the comments!


In case you are still stuck on my insanity and my sons' near misses with homelessness:
*Omega-3 is a type of fatty acid which is found in oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring and is required for optimal brain function and is thought to be beneficial for behaviour, cognitive function, memory and attention. As children grow, their requirements for Omega-3 may also increase.
According to a study done for Nature's Own only 1 in 5 children are getting the recommended 2-3 servings of fish per week and therefore enough Omega-3 for optimal brain function and development. 

This post is an honest review and not sponsored except for provision of a lunch and product samples. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

WOULD YOU SOONER FORGET YOUR WEDDING?

Every year a tradition is remembered by those that chose to walk down the aisle in a white dress, a tradition to celebrate the day you spent way too much money on a very large dinner party and happened to commit your life to another human being. Every year without fail I forget this tradition, I don’t know whether it is pure absent-mindedness, or a deep subconscious reaction to my marriage but I never wake up on our anniversary prepared and usually get reminded about 8am by a less than impressed husband.




I don’t really think there is anything to say about this other than I seem to have had baby brain prior to having babies, and even more so once I did. But if there was a deep-seeded feeling that blocks out the day of our wedding from my memory it would have to be the fact that my fiancé at the time decided that a bucks night the night before the wedding day was a good idea. His brother stlll tells me that if it wasn’t for him dragging him out of whatever establishment they were partying in he wouldn’t have made it to the wedding at all. As it was, when the photographer asked him to spin all 58kg of skin and bone that was me back then, around, he nearly spewed. So as far as I’m concerned he’s lucky I married him at all let alone remember the day it happened all those years ago.

And it wasn’t that the day wasn’t memorable for other reasons than the groom being hung over, it was perfect in every other way. You could say that if you swapped the Groom for someone else who was sober, the day would have been nothing short of a fairy tale. It was at Jones Bay Wharf, I was in a simple but stunning dress, the bridesmaids were in gunmetal silver, we arrived in white Cadillacs to a small stone church that looked as though it belonged in a country town.

If you put aside the psychotic florist from a company that really should be called “Brides be Doomed” rather than it’s more deceptive upbeat name, who had mixed me up with another bride and refused to meet up to correct her obviously failed memory. Or the heartbroken hair stylist who obviously put his sadness into my style, the day had hope and joy written all over it. Especially if you were a groomsman it seemed. As though the enormous celebration of love created a strange love potion and nearly everyone got lucky, either that or people had their own “potions” in their pockets, whatever, the point was if you were single at our wedding and even slightly willing you were in for a night of looove.


The stories were so debauched my now hung over husband was struglling with the decision he’d just made. Talk about bad timing and probably a very logical reason for my annual blank. But despite the obvious trauma associated with my day as a princess, I am not trying to forget I’m married (well except the other day when I was in the park and I wanted to channel Kate Winslet’s character from Little Children), and after a beautiful lunch where Boom and I had a conversation that didn’t go something like “I did the last three poos so it’s your turn.”, “well I stayed up putting them to bed and then got up in the middle of the night so fair’s fair”. It was a lovely anniversary and one that now I’ve remembered I won’t forget…well at least until next year.

Head over to Facebook and share your wedding pics & most importantly the back story!


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

PARENT LOSES WILL-TO-LIVE AT INDOOR PLAY CENTRE

When I was a child-free, busy career-woman waking up to the sprinkling of rain on a weekend was kind of romantic and the perfect excuse to stay in bed longer. The worst that could happen is a picnic or BBQ would need to be moved undercover, but to be honest I wasn’t really rolling in picnic invitations. In fact most weekends I was suffering from at least a minor hangover, so really the world could have frozen over outside and as long as I had a doona I’d be happy.




Then two tenacious little wriggly things changed all that when they found their way through the perils of my uterean landscape into ovum heaven. Rain on a weekend now means only one thing and it is no longer a nice warm lie in, it in no way resembles a snuggle as you drift between hazy consciousness and la-la-land, and it causes worse brain damage than any amount of alcohol consumption. ‘IT’ is the INDOOR PLAY CENTRE.

Three simple words that in isolation are all quite innocuous, they could even be seen as quite positive, but when combined in this particular order contain the power to strike fear into the hearts of the brave, reduce the stoic to cowering messes of tears and transform the cool, calm and collected to hot, bothered and berserk.

Funnily enough the truth of this doesn’t prevent desperate parents from once again venturing into the fray at the slightest hint of rain. For some reason the last memory of play-centre insanity is overshadowed by the more recent hell raised by two trapped banshees, I mean boys, in the space formerly recognised as the home. Which, after a morning of rain, is easily mistaken for a small landfill site. And letting them loose in a ball-filled pit of despair seems like the better option to living in a tip for a day…until you arrive.

The noise itself, something akin to the screams of a thousand cats being strangled, would send any normal person running in the opposite direction, but to a parent on a rainy day, they stay the course, wildly hanging on to the hope that this time, despite blood pouring from their ears, it will be fun for all.

It really isn’t until you are through the door and you lose sight of one child in the multi-level tunnels, nets and padded shapes and the other disappears under a rainbow of germ-infested plastic balls that the horror returns and you realise the error of your ways. By then it is too late to retreat as your hell, is your children’s idea of the most fun they have ever had in their whole life.

On this particular morning I looked jealously at parents sitting at tables, relaxed with coffees, smug in the knowledge they can leave there over-four year old to fend for themselves, which is code for my child is now big enough to run into, push over, throw balls at everyone else’s children. Conversely I removed my shoes and ran around on padded vinyl, batting big kids out of the way and diverting incoming missiles as my 16 month old giggled his way through mazes and ball pits. My only consolation was knowing my hubby was currently squeezing himself through a wobbling, netted tunnel three levels above the ground in an effort to keep sight of our 2 year old, who was about to disappear into a mess of mangled bodies hurtling themselves down a 30ft slide on hessian bags.



Don't be fooled by the pretty colours and cute monkeys...this is HELL on earth.
There is always an island of respite with a sign above it stating, “under fours only”. Again a glimmer of hope returns as you drag your child towards the single level, fenced in, near empty toddler area, and almost hysterically sell-in the excitement of what is obviously the most boring area in the centre, even a dirty cup off the floor is more captivating, because god-forbid you could be allowed to relax for more than 5 seconds. Their sudden possession by the spirit of hell drawing them back to the rampaging levels of mayhem drives you back through the gate to hell again. And you watch as they head, giggling for certain injury.

We escaped this time with only a four year jumping on our 16 month old’s head from height no less, but xrays were not required, and other than the obligatory “Damien” impersonations as we try to extract our little energy balls from their extremely fun “pinball machine”, we escaped with our lives only just. But I know I left about ten years of my life in there and if I ever consider going again I require you to smack me in the head with a large shovel.


 ©2012, My IdeaLife, All rights reserved

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

MISSING TV REMOTE BREAKS HEART: A Mum's Grief

My little people fixated by their beloved Brum.
We couldn’t find the TV remote to turn off a morning of 'Big Cook, Little Cook', 'Raa Raa, the noisy little lion', 'Show me, Show me' to name just a few. This single small failure was about to set off a tidal wave of emotion. Boom had taken the boys to the park and I was pottering about with the overly-enthusiastic soundtrack of children's shows playing in the background. Then this music came on, it was clever, funny orchestral music used to introduce a small vintage car that happens to be the local superhero in Birmingham, his name is Brum.

Brum has been pivotal in my life as he has captured the imagination of both my boys in a way no other show has. Initially Bang was very taken with 'In the Night Garden', but by the time Crash came along, Brum was and still is the preferred viewing choice of both. Other shows come and go, but Brum fighting baddies, saving kittens and flying through the air to stop out-of-control trains never grows tired.

Brum taught both my boys how to eat, his attention-demanding antics, hilarious music, sound effects and cute storylines allowed food to enter their mouths without resistance. All sorts of healthy items passed their lips as they smiled at Brum.


This cheery little fellow is perfectly designed to make people smile, unfortunately for me, today he has had the opposite affect and I am a whimpering mess. As I leave behind a couple of years of being a SAHM and return to work I now realise that I may never see another episode. I may never be able to watch on as my boys eager eyes take in the action, frowning when there’s danger or smiling at the happy ending. I won’t see them wave at Brum the way the cast do or clap at the end once he’s saved the day. And I will never hear that haunting Oboe trill at the start of a new adventure.

It is the end of an era and I know we will all adjust and get used to seeing each other less but for today I am just going to sit here and cry my eyes out because time moves too fast and I wish I could stay home, me and my little men together forever.


© MyIdeaLife, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Thursday, 5 January 2012

POSITION VACANT: One Housewife


As the lovely Andrea from Fox in Flats-infamy highlighted last week on Twitter I am returning to work in January after 15 months Maternity Leave, and wait for it...fulltime. I know collective gasp from many including me sometimes. But despite a bit of a go, I am being sacked from my role as Domestic Goddess (actually my job title was Domestic Avoidess but no point in getting caught up in semantics).

This lack of natural ability in grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, washing, tidying etcetera has caused the constant hum of guilt to overshadow my time as a Stay-at-home-Mum. Who knew that housewife and Mother were synonymous! I didn't and nothing really prepared me for the expectation that if you are not working out of the house, you are working in it.

Don't get me wrong, everyone has to contribute so it stands to reason that who ever is at home, Mum or Dad, gets lumped with the home management. Problem for me is I have always viewed housework with particular disdain. Probably because society places no value on a well-run home. Who nowadays really cares if there are a few crumbs on the ground or toys are not neatly put away. As long as nobody is sitting around in 3 day old food or worse then you are doing ok as far as I'm concerned.

But it runs deeper than just lack of acknowledgement. When I was a child I remember feeling so confused and hurt by the fact that my brother never had to do the things that were expected of me, like sewing, ironing or cooking. My constant question "Why do I have to do it, when he doesn't?" was usually met with “Because I said so”, which to my mind translated to “There is no logic or reason behind this unfairness”. The reality was when I was growing up girls were still expected to learn and know things about managing a home and at most, boys were taught how to mow the lawn, change a tyre, but most importantly how to sit on the couch, watch sport while drinks and snacks magically materialising next to them, usually courtesy of the nearest female.

This injustice and my determination to overcome it rendered me slightly crap as a "housewife". Luckily my husband has no such hang ups about chores. He doesn't question his validity as he hangs out the washing, he doesn't associate stacking the dishwasher with discrimination and he certainly does not feel like he's giving up on fulfilling his potential by changing the bed sheets. Unfortunately I do, albeit in a subtle way. But as I look back at my 15 months 'off', I can see clearly that for some reason being a housewife makes me feel like a failure in a way work outside of the house never has. It is not logical, in fact it is the opposite as what could be more rewarding than working for the benefit of the people you love the most in the world?

But there you have it, I prefer the paid work to the house work.

Luckily, as I hand one of the household reigns back to my hubby, I can take comfort in the fact that 'Housewife' and 'Mother' are two different roles. Just because I am no longer at home with my children, does not mean I am no longer 'Mum'. In fact with the extra help we are getting I may find I get some more 'play' time with them, rather than yelling at them from the laundry to stop trying to impale themselves from a great height on to Lego towers.

If I stayed home and continued to feel anxious about my missing-Goddess, and the relationship that has with my Mother-role, then I would not be doing them the huge favour some assume. A Mother feeling like a failure around 24/7 is far more dangerous than a confident, secure one who is away for 38 hours a week, I’m sure.

Now to the task of securing contentment… hmmmm… maybe I’ll go and fold some clothes.

Is housework your mental disorder too?


©MyIdeaLife, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

ARE YOU IN THE MUMMY BLOGGER ASYLUM?

My love of blogging is bittersweet. It has enabled me to write which I love, but with all things that one falls heavily for, measure needs to employed at some point. Blogging is so the mother of all rabbit holes. It leads to twitter, a Facebook page (don't start me on Google+), a newsletter, instagram, constant website improvements, getting published, interacting in communities, functions, conferences and hours and hours of publicity and marketing and so on and so forth. Writing actually becomes the least of your worries, and then suddenly it becomes a huge worry because you find you have no time to actually do what started the whole thing, that is just tell a story, share an anecdote, talk to the world.

There is definitely so much value in keeping it simple. The complexity can really burn you out of the blogging world as fast as it took you to set up your blogger or wordpress site. But giving up on blogging is not the worst thing that can happen. What is worse is losing touch with real life. Valuing your three-dimensional relationships less, especially those closest to you. You see a bit of attention from a virtual community of people can do crazy things to people's minds. When you are getting compliments from strangers and people want to meet you - you can get a weird sort of invincible out-of-body type feeling that leads you to devaluing the people you actually need the most.

So upon recognising this I decided to write myself some rules, that hopefully will guard against ending up living in a box next to a power outlet at the local wi-fi spot with only my laptop as company.


Any addicts out there got more tips? Please share!



Image background source: http://lady-himiko.deviantart.com

Saturday, 31 December 2011

What will you remember about 2011?

This year has been one of those ones that stands out. I'm not sure if it's just my baby brain having a half life of six months and so I've completely forgotten everything about 2010, but this year somehow has made it pale into insignificance.



IMMORTALITY MEET FINITE LIFE
2011 will always be the year that I realised I will not live forever, it was like Death was trying to tell me something and for the first time I listened.

I never knew Steve Jobs but his words back in 2005 "have the courage to follow your heart" will haunt me until I truly take that first step towards my destiny. His death still makes me sad. What an amazing visionary that was taken from all of us far too early. At the same time his amazing thoughts and words inspired me to the point that I wrote an article about him that got published in a major newspaper, which ironically felt a touch like where my heart was leading me.

I met Gavin Larkin once, in a pitch situation. He was larger than life, vivacious, intelligent and compelling. At the time I didn't know that he had started RUOK? day for the prevention of suicide, and he didn't know that he already had cancer. His death this year was incredibly shocking, he was younger than me and left behind his wife and three children. His amazing life was captured by Australian Story, if you missed it I highly recommend you watch it here.

Ten years on we mourned again the loss of thousands of innocent people as we remembered 9/11. I had managed to not think too much about it since the shocking event took place, as I didn't know anyone who died. But with the gravity of motherhood I saw the grief of parents, partners and young children in a much deeper and clearer light, and one that cut me deeply. My heart still breaks for their loss.

And most drastically my immortal status quo was irreversibly challenged, when a beautiful friend with two kids the same age as mine was diagnosed with cancer in October. Something about someone so close to you, living a parallel life and it being disrupted so frighteningly has rocked my world. I'm sure not as much as hers and her gorgeous family's, but my heart broke when she told me and I know I will be in limbo until I find out she is going to be ok.

BRAND NEW EYES
In 2011 my two babies became little boys. Their personalities developed and my eldest started speaking and giving me a whole new insight in to the way he sees the world. My youngest also showed us who he is going to become with his unwavering determination and gusto for life. And I woke up from probably a couple of years of sleep deprivation to realise how lucky I am to know these two amazing little beings. Yes they are hard work, yes it is insanely stressful trying to constantly protect them as they totter towards stairs or learn to jump off fences, but they are my universe, my joy, my pride and when I feel their arms wrapped around me, when I see them collapse in giggles, when they look at me with wonder and love, I realise it is me that has been given new life, in the creation of theirs.

MY WORDS FORMED A SMILE
Thanks to the existence of said perfect little creatures, in February this year I was inspired to start blogging, which has lead me to realise that writing is a bit of a passion of mine and one I'm hoping will continue to change my life. All those inane years of journal keeping seems to have had some benefits, other than one day explaining to my ancestors why they are slightly insane. I have been lucky enough to have work published all over the place but what has been more exciting is meeting other bloggers. In them I have found friends who somehow get the insanity that is the need to write and overshare, I mean, contribute to the world. The generosity, wit, intelligence and comradery I have found is so brilliantly unexpected. There are too many to mention but I can't let go of this year without thanking some of you for your support, encouragement and friendship:


Maria Tedeschi of Mum's Word
Purple_cath of Precocious Lotus Jewels
Nathalie Brown of EasyPeasyKids
Danielle Uskovic from Lenovo
Brenda Gaddi of Mummytime and Digital Parents
Emma Ashton of Reality Ravings
Andrea Zanetich of Fox in flats
Bernadette Morley of So now what?
Denyse Whelan 
Yvette Vignando of HappyChild
Sharon of Twitchy Corner
Mary-Ann Harris of Mah73
Kathy from SmallKucing
Alexandra Carlton and
the worst until last
Joe Hildebrand (aka the online sensation)


and Happy New Year to all of you, 
thanks so much for taking the time to visit and 
I hope I've given you as much joy this year as you have me! xxx


What will you remember about 2011?