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, 5 April 2013

The opposite of Freedom...wait what?

Picture an over-achiever at the Easter Show. She is a Mum, she has two children and a husband with her and she has a program in her hand. She has the time it takes 2 and 3 year old boys to lose their minds at lunch (about 10 minutes if she's lucky) to chart a course through the rest of the day that will make it the greatest day and a day worthy of fighting thousands of people, strollers, goats and showbags. 

As you have probably gathered I am that person and I am telling you now as my brain computed the program: Alvin and the Chipmunks at 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, Flying and Diving Pigs 2pm and 4pm, Shaun the sheep at 12.30 and 1.30, Pat a pig at 2pm and 4pm, Woodchopping 1.30, 3.30, 4.30 and so on and so forth; I was not happy. I was getting miserable not being able to compute the travel time between the Davidson stadium, the Kids Tent, the big arena and the Pig & Goat Shed. And crossing that with the fact that we had to end up near the entrance at the end of day was driving me slightly insane. All I wanted at that point was one clear choice. 

This was not planned and wouldn't have happened if I had figured out the perfect route
The thing is if I had watched this video I may have already known that the difference between the perfect route around the Easter Show and the eventual path we took driven by a three year old's tantrum which lead to a new kind of hell (having to enter the Showbag hall) was incredibly minimal. I could have been spared the angst and anxiety I went through for a good hour after I left that lunch table, not to mention my husband, who copped a fair amount of vitriol due his "I don't care as long as we ended up at the entrance around 4.30pm" attitude. 

Any way don't watch this when you are tired, it does require some concentration but it is fascinating in its revelation that freedom of choice does not equal happiness.   


What do you think? Willing to give up some choices to be happy?

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Dare to dream

Source: 25facts.com
I love this video, it reminds me of the speech Steve Jobs gave to Stanford students which inspired me no end. I am not sure yet that I have stopped to think about what I really want to do, I actually think that you have to know yourself very well to actually work out what would make you feel fulfilled in life. It's a tricky one but as this is not a practice run, it may be one spending some time on. 

Once you've figured it out you need courage and a lot of it, you also need no dependents or mortgages or other trappings that tend to happen after the age of 30, so if you are not there (I am!) then take a leap and dare to dream of living the life you imagined for yourself when you were wideeyed and too young to know how not to be brave. 


Are you doing what you love?

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

10 movies that made me PML

Milton and his stapler from Office Space
I adore laughter and frankly life is far too serious for me most of the time. So I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to see the funny side of things, even in corporate meetings, what can I say? wisdom and humour don't always go hand in hand. I wouldn't go so far as to say I am a funny person, one of my particularly funny friends often reminds me of this, as does my hubby, but you know, points for trying please. For instance I am no where near as funny as The Bloggess or Joe Hildebrand, although putting those two in the same sentence is sort of funny. 

Anyway my point is, not for me to make you laugh directly but indirectly and so I share my top ten movies that have made me howl, roar and p1ss my p@nts laughing; they are in no particular order otherwise my shanty town for a brain would get too lost: 

1. a recent one - The Five-Year Engagement
2. a modern day monty python type one - The Trip
3. Does Seinfeld's Ugly Baby episode count? (breathtaking!)
4. a dysfunctional one - Home for the Holidays
5. another dysfunctional one - Sideways
6. in the words of my hubby, a really weird one - I heart huckabees
7. Ok because I should have said ten - Knocked Up
8. because will ferrell just is - Step Brothers
9. because Maude is my hero - The Big Lebowski
10. because I worked in Advertising - Crazy People
11. and finally because Seinfeld is not a movie - Office Space



Laugh a little - stuff that - laugh until you snort your drink out your nostrils! Research loosely shows it improves your immune system and reduces stress - so worth a bit of germy liquid spraying on your lucky dinner guest me thinks... or in my case I'll be targeting my really "funny" friend - you know who you are. 


P.S. And if you do crave the more serious side of happiness - check out yesterday's post where a real researcher has unlocked the secret that happy people inherently know. 


Tuesday, 2 April 2013

What is HAPPINESS?

How do you define happiness? 
The dictionary says: 
delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person. and characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy:a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.

Simple right, just be delighted and pleased and smile alot? Well not so much. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics nearly half (45%) of all Australians have experienced a mental disorder at least once in their life, and most commonly anxiety and depression are the culprits.

The thing is as much as happiness is elusive, defensive and aggressive behaviours based on fear and pride are running rife, smothering the workplace, the home, sport and schools. I was lucky enough to attend a course recently for work, HeartStyles, that lifted the lid on why we behave like this, and exposed how we are spreading unhappiness between us as fast as a cold virus can sneeze and cough its way through a peak hour bus.

The premise they lead with was how the vast majority of people have a good heart and good intentions. As they move through life wounds and voids occur and often work to crowd out the goodness as we protect and defend ourselves from having to suffer again. Our once vulnerable self is covered by a dark wall that lets nothing and no-one in to hurt you again. This is when happiness really becomes a huge struggle. Brené Brown, a researcher "storyteller" from the US explains it so well in her TED talk below. 



The courage to be imperfect and show imperfection to others. 
I love every minute of what she has to say - basically she has found that if we are going to be happy vulnerability is key. Her research shows that those people that are happy are living wholeheartedly, being vulnerable with the knowledge that they could get hurt. And even more interestingly they strongly believe they are worthy of love in spite of their imperfection. 


For the sake of our children
We can't escape our parents, you will become your mother, the good and unfortunately the bad stuff passes down the line. Our behaviour gets hardcoded into the neural pathways of our children, and even more so our whole outlook on life. Our anxiety when their imperfections start to show is SO damaging to their worthiness and like Brené says "Our job is not to keep them perfect but to realise they are imperfect and hard-wired for struggle...our job is to make sure they know they are worthy of love and belonging." 

I can't think of any better reason than looking into the beautiful unaffected eyes of my two sons to find a way to be grateful and wholehearted about my life. Maybe by doing so I can start to really get on this single ride I've got in this big theme park called life. We only get one chance at it and quite frankly I'm tired of not throwing my arms in the air and screaming with unbridled joy. 

Do you want to get on too? or are you on it already and can share what it feels like to us who are still holding back? 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Getting HAPPY! Time for #HAPPYRIL

Last year when the Puberty Blues trailer came on and Dragon's Marc Hunter sang "Are you old enough?" my stomach twirled in two and wrapped itself around my heart. The memories washed over me, the summer heat, the beach, my first kiss, my wideeyed expectations of what my life was going to be. 

What I didn't know then and I'm only just discovering now some 20 years later is that I was looking for my life outside of myself. A tall gorgeous man, a career, money and an enviable existence  were going to make me happy, because if I got them I will have made it and if I made it I'd be satisfied because I would have proved them wrong. Them being the boys that broke my heart, the ones that made fun of me being half-italian, the ones that looked down on me for this reason or that, and the worst kind, the dumb beautiful people that rarely knew what I was talking about, but proving they were not so dumb, made sure I felt their inadequacy more than them. 

For the sake of this little HAPPY face, I declare April - HAPPRIL! 
So off I went, foot to the floor, achievement after achievement. Whatever I put my mind to I succeeded at, I wanted to be a designer, I got hired by the top Sydney firm, I wanted to be in advertising, I won a Cannes and got offered a role in New York, I wanted to go back to Marketing, I got a job in a global multinational, I wanted, I wanted, I wanted. Mainly because whatever I got, wherever I ended up wasn't enough. Like a junkie I wanted more because that happiness, that satisfaction I had expected to bask in, kept eluding me. 

This is the part where you expect I say having children cured all that and I am at last satisfied. Well the twist is, that little overused chestnut, is BS of the finest form. Motherhood doesn't cure completely misunderstanding the world, instead it suddenly puts immense pressure on working out quite quickly where you are effing up, so you don't inadvertently turn your perfect little people into anxiety-ridden, fame hunters. 

Thing is, life is a lot harder and more complex than I ever imagined. The first time my heart was broken it took me so badly by surprise my stomach still knots when I think of it. Having now seen the Brené Brown video (see tomorrow's post) I realise that I was not trained to be vulnerable, in fact I was taught the way to navigate life was to be very, very careful. And I was not trained to feel worthy, I was judged harshly by someone very close to me and my brain just interpreted that to mean if I wanted to be worthy I would have to fight hard to be something more than who I was. Which of course was a recipe for disaster, not on the face of it as it drove me to be an over-achiever but behind the successful face of it there's a fearful and defensive soul fighting to accept being just me. 

Well I don't know if any one else feels this way but what I know now is that we are all worthy of love and acceptance, we are enough in our own skin, flaws and all. And so I am declaring April - HAPPYRIL - a month to get happy. Happy with your life, your personality, your achievements, your place in the world, your relationships, but mostly to get happy  with being you

I am going to be posting as much as I can, posts about how to get happy, videos, ted talks, experiences, sayings, stupid movies and sharing what others are saying along the way. 

Want to get HAPPY with me?
Join me for #HAPPYRIL and please share your thoughts too! (despite the ridiculous name!)

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Small Bump, Huge tears: the agony of miscarriage

I am sharing this song because although it is likely to do to you what it did to me, namely make you spontaneously burst into tears, which arguably isn't that pleasant, it is too beautiful not to. 

The scans of my unmade plans


What an unbelievably rare talent, Ed Sheeran is that he can capture so perfectly the hope and love that happens even before you meet a baby. It defies all logic but nonetheless the love is palpable and I would know as I only got to meet two of my four. 

I know I am one of the lucky ones but even so I still remember the shocking emotional agony of my miscarriages. There are people all around the world trying to define at what point divided cells become life - for me it is that first magical moment of connection. Eight weeks later when a once beating heart was no longer, there was no comfort in knowing how early or how developed or not, because a new life had died before it had lived, and all the hopes and dreams I had attached to this very small person died suddenly with it. 

My comfort came in the form of another two babies and although I knew they were different and unique lives, they were still new and perfect with wonderous eyes and gorgeous potential. But this song reminds me of the cruelty of miscarriage and the absurdity of losing the love of your life and all of those precious unmade plans...

"Hold on tight, it'll be alright" xxx

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Turning Tables: discovering first loves again

When I was 16 I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that I wouldn't actively listen to music for about three years in a row. In fact at 30 I still wouldn't have believed you. Music was integral to my existence, my soul and my body, which was more often than not, moving to it. 


Pass-times can be one of those sneaking casualties of becoming a parent, especially if you end up going back to work, like me. The only music that made it past the turning point of birth were my wedding compilation albums, the occasional superb song like Foster the People's Pumped up kicks and the three songs I sing to the boys at bedtime; Close to you, Evergreen and Someone to watch over me. 

Well am happy to report a cool phase has begun with my babies now big enough for me to start remembering loves, pre- the biggest love of my life. One of them has been my hubby, but that's another less G-rated blog post and as you've probably guessed, the other is listening, playing, dancing and singing. 

Triple J has some really annoying DJs, but when they are not talking they are still educating Australia on the latest and best music ever made. And if classics are not your strong point then I can't recommend the first five series of Glee highly enough, with soundtracks of whole generations captured in a new and creative way. 

Anyway it wouldn't be a useful post if I didn't share a favourite that hopefully becomes a part of the soundtrack for your life too. And if it is anything like mine, the tables have turned again.


  What have you rediscovered that the baby years briefly took away?


Saturday, 22 December 2012

Why are there so many Santas Mummy? and other unanswerable Christmas questions

Man Christmas is exhausting, not because of the queues, which by the way are insane, not because of having to choose and then, in case you thought you were going to make it through alive, wrap an inordinate number of presents and not because your kids have decided that holiday time is the perfect time to start backyard UFC. Christmas is exhausting because it is the one time of year you have to lie, in a very detailed and twisted way for an extended period of time. 

Source: The Sunday Times  (Kai Wiechmann)
It is so stressful that I have already had discussions with certain relatives about whether they sign Santa or Nanna & Pop on the card, which I responded in utter desperation and confusion, 
"Aren't all the presents at this age from Santa?"

Apparently not I am told . And this conundrum leads to the next: 

"If Santa brings all the presents can some presents arrive under the tree beforehand?"

"And if they do, how did they get there?" My answer today after putting a selection of gifts out was "Santa brings some in advance". And before you think this was a question from an extremely astute three year old, I was answering to an adult. Effing hell this is complex and not at all the fun thing I thought it would be. 

How can you have a tree sit there for four weeks without any presents under it? 

If Santa only delivers on Christmas Eve the tree looks complete for all of about 6 hours when everyone is asleep and about the five minutes I know it will take a 2 and 3 year old to rip every present into a pile of paper that could fuel a small power station for a week.

So here I sit with three sleeps to go thinking I can't wait for the phase where the now blissfully ignorant Mr 2 & 3 start to go through the logistics themselves and ask questions like: 
"How is Santa in so many places at the same time?" 

Which I remember distinctly quizzing my parents about, their answer was that all the different shop Santas that you see, sometimes in one shopping trip, are not really Santa, they are his helpers...WTF! Even back then it didn't quite make sense and sparked the beginning of the end of my belief in the big red man. 

What ridiculous stupidity have you blurted out this year in the name of keeping the reindeer flying?

And more importantly what the hell are the real rules of this big fun red lie?


Monday, 17 December 2012

What would you say to the parents in Connecticut?

I don't know what you would say but I am at a point where I would have to scream simply "what the f*ck?!". There is no normal explanation for this. "Some people are mentally disturbed" no longer cuts it when 20 six and seven year olds are the chosen target. This is not just a tipping point for the USA, it is a question for the world, especially the virtual world. There is something that we are missing when we hear of teenagers doing these things. 


The only thing I can remember that is worse than what has happened in Connecticut, is what happened to poor James Bulger, a 2 year old in the UK, lured away from his Mum by two ten year olds to be t0rtured and murd3red slowly. Two ten years olds now in their 20s with hidden identities for their protection so they can live their lives in freedom. Huh!? What are we doing wrong? Are we too busy to notice we are raising psych0paths? Are we too lazy to keep them off video games that make murd3r seem like fun? What are we not teaching them about the value of life that they take it away from people so small and innocent and in no way capable of causing any form of pain to them, that would warrant these kind of vind!ctive and cowardly att@cks? And worst of all when we find out through some horrific situation that involves innocent people losing their happy existences, that these young people are actually psych0paths, why do we as a society find it necessary to protect them from normal people who feel that maybe it's not cool to have obvious s0ciopaths living freely in society? 

I am so mad, there is no way around it, I am furious. I am livid with his mother for teaching him to sh00t and having semi-@ut0matic weap0ns just hanging around, for knowing instinctively that he was not right and doing nothing about it. I am horrified that somehow a bunch of morons have lobbied to allow people to freely own these weap0ns. I am incensed that he and his mother* are gone so we can't make them live with the consequences of their choices or grab them and shake them until we find out why, Why, WHY?????
From top right (clockwise): Noah Pozner, Emilie Parker, Dylan Hockley, Grace McDonnell, Victoria Soto, 27, Mary Sherlach, 56, Lauren Russeau, 30, James Mattioli and Olivia Engel, Jesse Lewis and Ana M. Marquez-Greene
Every beautiful smiling face I've seen on TV that I know now is no longer, looks like any of our family photos. The innocent unbridled joy of life still mostly unchallenged. I don't know what to say to those left behind without their beautiful little cheeky monkeys. There is no sense, nor hope I can find in this. It is a horror beyond any movie and over 40 people are not acting as they try to face something not even the most w@rped movie makers could think up. I suppose the only comfort is so many are grieving with you, not as deeply of course, but we are here too, feeling it hard and hating a world where this can happen. Something has to change, please, something has to come from these beautiful young things cut down so unfairly and far too soon. 



RIP
Charlotte Bacon, age 6
Daniel Barden, age 7
Olivia Engel, age 6
Josephine Gay, age 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, age 6
Dylan Hockley, age 6
Madeleine F Hsu, age 6
Catherine Hubbard, age 6
Chase Kowalski , age 7
Jesse Lewis, age 6
James Mattioli, age 6
Grace McDonnell, age 7
Emilie Parker, age 6
Jack Pinto, age 6
Noah Pozner, age 6
Caroline Previdi, age 6
Jessica Rekos, age 6
Avielle Richman, age 6
Benjamin Wheeler, age 6
Allison Wyatt, age 6

Rachel Davino, age 29
Dawn Hochsprung, age 47
Anne Marie Murphy, age 52
Lauren Rousseau, age 30
Mary Sherlach, age 56
Victoria Soto, age 27

*One mother's account of living with a mentally ill son sheds new light on what this man may have been putting her through and raises great points about the potential root cause and its solution. 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Time to listen 2dayFM or we'll stop! Royal Prank goes terribly wrong

We are seemingly killing ourselves slowly. It is death by a thousand humiliations, it is slow and unnoticeable at first, until one day you wake up and you realise you are more worried about what somebody you hardly know at work thinks about you than your own children. Is it any wonder then that a Mum of two children made the most final of decisions after being globally humiliated by people whom can at best be described as de-sensitised? 

The UK headlines say it all. Source: Herald Sun; Jacintha Saldanha, who answered the call from 2dayFM was later found dead, believed to have taken her own life. Source:The Sunday Telegraph
But this is what happens when we live in a society that is more concerned about protecting, comforting and justifying people who now feel bad that they precipitated the death of a woman, a wife and a mother, than with the fact that certain behaviour has consequences. This is what happens when ratings become more important than a person’s life. How about instead of keeping ourselves busy justifying our inhumane behaviour we learn something from it?

Here’s the lesson: ringing total strangers to trick them in front of huge public audiences is not funny, not if you have any empathy. And if you suppress the cringe factor as you listen to the poor person being humiliated; stop! That feeling is your connection to society, it is what creates community and keeps some level of order, respect and understanding.

Michael Moore has been on about corporations being intrinsically psychopathic for years but when you hear one of the DJs involved in this unthinkable situation, was reportedly still bragging about the fame he had gained from it as late as Saturday morning, you have to wonder whether that messed up psyche has brainwashed a generation. To show such disdain for another’s life, because on the bright side your profile has grown? It's astounding and maybe time for a change. 

Source: Daily Mail UK
So what should we do? The nobodies are the most empowered we have been in history. The Edelman GoodPurpose Report states that “86% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s issues as on business' interests” and nearly two thirds already believe they can change a company’s behaviour. In this case if 2dayFM aren’t listening, it is time to pay them the same respect.


Source: The Herald Sun
Let's stop empowering the indecency and disregard for people's lives, let's stop buying-in to the propaganda that is subliminally attacking the very fabric of humanity, even if it is done legally (please!). It is ever so subtly and slowly pushing us into believing it is ok to treat people without respect, to jeopardise their careers, reputations and in poor Jacintha’s case, her very existence.

Enough! No more excuses and lawyers, look within 2dayFM, and feel the mistake. It is not your first, in fact the list is starting to grow, so it is time now to really feel this one, your worst yet, hard and deeply so you stop making it over and over. And for everyone’s sake grow up and take the power you have over so many impressionable minds seriously. Anybody’s life is more important than your fame and fortune, which will be gone in the blink of an eye, or in this case the fragility of a woman’s life.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 13 11 14; Mensline 1300 789 978; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800




P.S. Update: Having watched the DJs on A Current Affair I do believe that they are filled with regret and shock at what has happened. Hindsight is an amazing thing and we have all made mistakes, but I still believe that prank calls are cruel and the laziest form of humour and am happy that 2dayFM has announced that they are suspended on all their stations indefinitely. At the very least they should have followed ACMA regulations that the pranks' subject be called to ask their permission to air the segment which in this case it seemed they did not. 

P.S.S This opinion piece on Mumbrella from a DJ highlights the art of a good prank vs what happened here

Monday, 29 October 2012

Two boys and a vasectomy

My old man's little fellas had a bit of augmentation last week. Not so much in the cosmetic sense...let's just say the lid is now firmly shut on our current family size of four. It is quite surreal now to think that we have taken such an extreme measure to ensure we have no more children and it might be enough to give someone pause... that is until they hear about the week we all had after the op. 


The Friday was like a trip into the twilight zone especially for my hubby, who elected for a full general for the procedure. Deadlines, meeting times, ETAs don't exist on Hospital Planet, instead an unusual and completely incomprehensible set of rules somehow maintain a steady flow of humans being cut open, sewn back up and booted out of vinyl recovery recliners all in one day. So upon rushing around like mad people to get the munchkins packed off to kindy in time to arrive at hospital by 8.30am, we were met with the strange and quite annoying reality that we could have arrived three hours later and still been there an hour earlier than the operation start time. 

But Friday was not really the issue, as thankfully punctuality and surgical skills are not mutually exclusive, it was the days that followed. Hubby was out for the count, walking around like John Wayne on the odd occasion he made it out of bed, in addition to making a meal of most of the bathroom when he tried to aim at the toilet. What was sanity-threatening was not the mess, the mayhem or Crash dragging Bang headfirst off the top of the cubby house, but the relentlessness. Not being able to say to another adult "Ok your turn, need a break" was killing me. Every nappy, spill, fight, night terror, bath, meal, wee, walk, playground, accident, smoothie, pick-up/drop-off was mine for what turned out to be seven days. 

This is the point where I say "Single parents...oh my effing god, you deserve a medal, a knighthood, a bloody huge lotto win... I don't know but something big and massively rewarding!" After two days of complete shit in the metaphorical sense and one round of real shit from one of our numerous park adventures, I was losing my mind. 

Hubby just laughed as he watched me slowly go down hill, which then made him double over in pain, which then made me laugh. It was a cycle of hilarity at someone else's expense and karma that went on for days. It was probably only fair that I suffered too given what he'd just done for us. Think about it, he had let someone cut open his crown jewels and potter around in there, endangering a lot of what makes him a man. Even Master 3 was sympathetic "Daddy can't come swimming with me cause he has a sore willy" he told the street from our front balcony.

On night six as we both fell into bed, broken in our own special ways, hubby said "who'd have thought getting the snip would be easier than looking after the munchkins by yourself", "I know" I shrilled with relief at his acknowledgement. Before our laughter could reach hysteria we had both passed out, but not before both feeling even more convinced that two little monkeys were quite enough for us and that the Snip was worth every groan and giggle it had caused. 

Has your hubby had the SNIP? 

Thursday, 11 October 2012

"Stop crying" Mummy cried hysterically

There's something soul-destroying about listening to Adele as your child cries hysterically. Nothing has really changed in the three and half years since I met my first child, a baby's cry, a toddler's cry, they are all the same, they cut through my skin and reach in and grab my heart and say "You are failing me". 



I will never get used to it. Waiting for a coffee today I heard a distant scream of agony and my heart broke just a little as it tapped into the many different cries I have heard in my short time as a Mum. The worst is the pain one, where there is nothing much you can do but comfort them and give them paracetamol, followed closely by the one I am listening to tonight. The over-tired completely lost-my-mind, I'm never sleeping again, and I may die of a broken heart unless you cuddle me all night tantrum. 



The fact is I do feel like I've failed him, despite the fact that I know most parents go through this. The thing with our second child is we didn't do things by the book. Our first was off the bottle by 1.5, he was not cuddled to sleep or given milk in the middle of the night. Unfortunately our laxed approach has lead us to another night where we will have to leave him to cry himself to sleep after comforting and rocking him for over an hour with no success. This is my fault and my husbands. And I am feeling it acutely. 

Luckily despite not following some childless nutbag that's written a book based on their extensive experience with other people's babies, nights like these are far and few between but they are the worst of times for everyone. Made even more traumatic by the fact he can now clearly call out "Mumma" in the most emotional and heartbroken way. 

Poor little guy, being a toddler is so hard, that's the reason we don't remember it I reckon. Just imagine you are too short to reach the stuff that's most interesting, especially the food that you like. You have to get a taller person to understand what you want even though you don't speak very clearly. When you are in the middle of a crucial scene in Madagascar someone stronger than you and who can pick you up does just that and strips you naked and puts you in a bath. Seriously have these people any respect?! 

Poor little man he is so upset, and all my comforting does is make the next time I lie him down even more traumatic. If any one tells you there is something harder than being a parent, smile kindly as you boof them on the head with your handbag. 

The only light is that once you have been through this once or twice you sort of know how it goes. You know that you have to last about 30 75 minutes and then it will be over, he will be asleep and so will you, both exhausted. 

Have you lived through uncontrolled-crying?

Monday, 8 October 2012

"Superwomen" have it all by NOT doing it all..


I was pretty nervous when Nina called from Fairfax to ask me questions about being a working Mum. Mainly because I feel slightly guilty about it most of the time. I have written about the struggle of Mum's today in Mamamia not once but twice, and so hearing that Sunday Life was going to do an article about us "Superwomen" was reassuring.

The age old question, "Shouldn't Mums give up their working, social and every other kind of lives for the lives of their children?", was still rattling around in my guilty conscience as Nina asked me questions about how I coped. But I remembered some of the advice I had had from so many women who now had older kids and had juggled it all. The lovely Bern Morley told me that there has been absolutely no negative affects on her gorgeous children and they'd been in child care from infancy. And TV-host Melissa Doyle, who arrives at the set of Sunrise every week day at 4.30am, told me she felt the same and elaborated saying "I hope they feel proud of their Mum". Their confidence calmed me and reminded me of the key reasons why I chose to be a working Mum.

But if you are thinking about being a "superwoman" and feel like it'd be all too much, you'd be right. It is really hard and what has come to light it is how insane it is. But take heart - help is here. Because there are so many of us now, there are also highly-accessible and acceptable services ready to help us manage. And as journalist Cosima Marriner writes in Sunday's article:

 "No longer do we have to pretend to the world we're [superwomen] – while imploding inside with the impossibility of doing it all...we've found a new role model: Outsourcing Woman."

Read the full article here: Mother's Little Helpers in yesterday's Sunday Life/Sun-Herald. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Puberty Blues...mainly 'cause it's over

Once in a while a network gets it so right. This time it was Channel 10 that carved out a place in Australian TV Drama history. The beautifully crafted Puberty Blues took my breath away and from the social media buzz last night I was not alone. I knew from the trailer it was going to be the stuff of memories but I didn't know I would be hopelessly addicted and engrossed in the characters and their amazingly real and gritty lives. And the writing... oh my... pitch perfect. The acting, the art direction, the style... ok am raving but I can honestly not fault it.  Except maybe the ending, over too soon and without enough fanfare, it's like it raced a little at the end, it needed another half hour to breath. But that opinion could just be because I am completely devoed (as my gen y team member would say in place of devastated) the show is over at all. 


If for no other reason, (and there are so many other reasons) the story is inspiring for giving us a real insight into the fight that women went through to deliver us the freedom and equality that we almost have in full now. The brilliant resilience and immense belief in self that was required for them to question the status quo at the time is nothing short of phenomenal. I am now working fulltime and am lucky enough to be on the directors board of a medium-sized business and none of that would be taking place if it wasn't for girls like Sue and Debbie, and of course their alter-egos and creators Gabrielle Carey and Kathy Lette. 


And to be fair although you may think that men have lost out in all of this, I think what women's liberation has done is allowed them to be more real too. Instead of having to live up to some caveman ideal, men are allowed to talk about feelings with each other, they can cry and they can ask for help. I'm not saying there is no pressure on men to be "men" but I think 40 years on we now understand their humanity and so do they. 

The other thing that bringing back Puberty Blues has done is remind a generation of now adults what it was like to be a teenager. I loved the chance to reminisce into the wild, dreamy mindset that was my own only 20 short years ago. When the most important thing in life was capturing the attention of that one particular guy, and dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming of what your life will be like as you wait in the wings of high school and stare longingly at the adults working, living and loving out in the world, making their own rules. 

Congratulations to the team that brought this to life a second time around and if you are wondering about the ratings for a potential series 2... check out your Facebook page and you'll know what to do! 

Monday, 1 October 2012

A Beautiful Beginnings End: RIP Jill Meagher

Street Art Tribute in Hosier Lane, Melbourne, Source: HeraldSun

Her dreams were those of any beautiful young girl, her vibrancy and light existence marred only by a shimmer of doubt that flashed through her mind when a stranger began talking to her on the way home early last Saturday morning. That doubt grew into unthinkable horror when Jill Meagher's circumstances conspired against her and a predator, a man so lost and damaged, thought nothing of ending her near perfect life. A life with a long future of love and adventure and moments. A lifetime of moments he felt were less worthy, than a vulgar, disturbed one made up of power and violence. 

Source: The Vine Live
I don't understand this man, not even close. What megalomania takes hold to not understand another human's huge and majestic existence? How could he not see her, and how she extended into the past, the future and into all those that know and love her in the present? Was it the brilliance of her that made him hate her enough to end her beautiful life? I don't know and like the thousands that walked down Sydney Road as a tribute to this senseless loss, I will probably never know what possessed the man that did this to Jill. 

Tribute March for Jill Meagher, Brunswick, Source: HeraldSun
All we are left with are questions unanswered, shock and grief. And a desperate scrambling to pull together, to reassure each other that humanity is not lost. That there are more of us who feel each other, empathise with and respect each other, than those that do not. I want to hope, I want to send thoughts of strength and love to Tom Meagher and the McKeon Family, but I am collapsed in grief at the absurdity of this life. That this can happen, and does happen more often than we know, breaks my heart. 

Tears replace the space where hope lived, so for now I cry with you in your great loss. And hope that maybe one day the lyrics of this song will make sense of the senselessness of Jill's end. 


"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end"