When not to tell someone their cardigan is inside out

There are many well-meaning people in this world. You don’t have to look very far to see people lending a hand to others and this surely does warm my heart. But what of those well-meaning people whose gestures, although a meant with the best of intent, somehow miss the intended mark of helpfulness.

I was on the receiving end of one such gesture today. I was pushing my umbrella style stroller up a ramp about to mount an escalator with three plastic bags of groceries hanging from the handles. The whole precarious set up was threatening to tip, so I was gingerly pushing and applying all my concentration to successfully mounting the upcoming escalator. Continue reading

Fifty shades of lame

See what I did there? Hooked you right in didn’t I? That Fifty Shades series has got women across the world all hot and bothered and now advertisers, journos and bloggers are getting in on the act.

The above ‘Fifty Shades of Summer’ brazenly called to me from the front of a furniture catalogue I retrieved from my mail box. Oooh, Sexy!

Am I supposed to feel a stirring of the loins that will encourage me to buy enclosed furniture items and multicoloured pillows? Continue reading

Love is love: why I support marriage equality

I was bridesmaid at my best friend Kate’s wedding on Saturday (that’s me and my little man walking down the aisle). It was a highly anticipated event, like any wedding, with details fussed over and agonised about for months.

I counted myself blessed and priviliged to have watched her fall in love and settle into a happy life with her partner and to be beside her on her big day.

The fact that there were two brides paled in insignificance to all who witnessed their beautiful ceremony and celebrated with them afterwards.

Love is love, afterall. And these two were radiantly and beautifully in love, sharing their pledges of commitment in front of family and friends.

Unfortunately, the Australian government currently doesn’t see it that way. The ‘little piece of paper’ that us heteros take for granted and can choose to take or leave, represents a whole lot more for those in same sex relationships. Shouldn’t they have the same choice as us?

I was planning a big post on this, but last night Kate uploaded this poster she had made on Facebook and really I couldn’t say it any better than this:

K&L marriage equality poster

Vlog numero uno: a public announcement

So, this is my first ever vlog. Decided that this news was worthy of getting on the vlogging bandwagon and revealing my speaking self to the Internets.

Will it happen again? Possibly not … especially if I can’t rectify whatever webcam issue makes it seem like I’m sitting among a bad 80s disco strobe. Apologies for that annoying ‘special effect’ but god dammit I couldn’t attempt to record this again!

Enjoy!

My Family Stickers … please explain?

Okay, this has been rattling around in my head for quite sometime but it’s come to a point where I just have to get it out there – part vent, part genuine enquiry … what is the go with those My Family Stickers that appear to be breeding upon urban 4WDs in my general vicinity?

It started innocently enough. I was at a barbecue getting on my soapbox about frangipani flower stickers on cars, when a friend piped up with ‘what about those My Family stickers?’. ‘What my family stickers?’ I responded. He proceeded to tell me about white stick people that were appearing on cars denoting each member of the family that rides in that car. When I looked baffled, he prophetically warned “Now I’ve told you about them, you’ll see them everywhere.”

That was some time ago, and I now smile ruefully at my innocence back then, my PMFO days (Pre My Family Onslaught). I have, I must admit, become peversely fascinated with them, checking out the car in front’s stick figures when I’m stopped at the lights. Continue reading

Judgement days

Since becoming a parent, the thing that annoys and frustrates me the most is judgement from other parents. You know the kind. You make an innocent enough comment about something your child, or you as a parent, is doing/not doing and then comes the onslaught. It can be as little as a face of shock, pity or ‘concern’ or as large as the full-tilt monologue usually starting with ‘what we found/did’ usually ending with the sentiment that their child is a genius and they are a perfect parent.

I wish I was exaggerating. But sadly I’ve come across it a fair few times, despite actively avoiding the type of conversations where this type of caper goes on.

Lately, it’s centred upon Jarvis’s walking – or more accurately, his lack of walking. It’s become more of a topic of conversation now he’s hit the ‘magic’ age of 12 months, and though the enquiries are starting to wear a bit thin most people’s comments don’t really offend me and are merely conversational.

However, there is a small segment of people that seem to think it’s a huge concern and take every opportunity to go on and on about it. Questioning what I do with him to ‘support walking’ while relaying tales of how their child was up an walking by 10 months with a self-congratulatory tone, like their skills as a parent had anything to do with it.

My new response to this is to smile and nod, while picturing stapling things to their heads. Continue reading

Easy, breezy, better?

Photo by Sarahlein on flickr.com

When I wrote Monday’s post I had little idea another article on motherhood, tucked within the light-weight confines of the Sydney’s Sun-Herald last Sunday, had attracted the wrath of many.

The article written by Jacinta Tynan, newsreader and mother to 9 month-old Jasper, kicks off with the opening line ‘There is one thing nobody warned me about when I became a mother: what a breeze it would be.’

She continues on in this fashion, explaining that after all the horror stories inflicted upon her whilst pregnant that she’s found this whole motherhood ‘lark’ is ‘a cinch’ and that she ‘can’t see what all the fuss is about’.

While admiting motherhood can be ‘tiring’ she asserts it isn’t ‘hard’ and that women these days have it easy compared to previous generations and that it’s just become ‘fashionable’ for women to play up the ‘bad parts’ of mothering.

She finished off with some examples of women trying to reel her into the martyrhood with warnings of ‘you’ll hate the night feeds’  and questions such as ‘don’t you hate the sound of their crying?’

It’s here where the smug tone of the piece becomes most evident, as it reaches its ‘riveting’ crescendo.

“Babies don’t cry to annoy us. They cry because they are hungry or tired and we are here to solve that.

“It’s just because you have an easy baby,” say mums when I confess (it feels like a confession) how much I love it.

We do have an easy baby. So far. He laughs a lot, loves his food and sleeps, well, like a baby. And I am blessed to have a stimulating part-time job and good childcare. Like most mums I have to “juggle” – just as I was warned – often presenting six hours of live TV news in a fog of sleeplessness. Until recently our baby woke at 4am. I also feel an overwhelming responsibility for our baby’s emotional well-being. But hard? No. Exhilarating and rewarding more like it.

I never knew I had such capacity to love. Nobody warned me about that.”

By the time I read the piece, the negative reactions were whirling around the blogoshere and Twitter. Mia Freedman had already posted a video interview with Jacinta on her blog where she justified the aim of the article.

I put all this out of my mind as I read the piece to see what my reaction was, purely based on my own experience  as a mother to my own nine month-old son. I then listened to the video interview.

If her aim was to celebrate the joyfulness and rewards of motherhood I think she’s severely missed the mark.

My initiation into motherhood has been hard, difficult, tiring, frustrating, all of those things to varying degrees. It has also been incredibily joyful and rewarding. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I think that by only putting voice to the view that ‘motherhood is easy’ based on her own experience and then attempting to make generalisations on how a whole generation of mothers should be coping, Jacinta has missed an opportunity to truly celebrate motherhood and has instead perpetuated the competitive spite that can be part of a new mothers experience.

On listening to the clip, she does seem to be an intuitive mother with a great deal of love for her child and a realistic sense of what being a mother involves. I only wish that she could have found a way to portray her own joyful experience without seemingly negating the experience of many mothers who are legitimately struggling with their role, who are not just ‘having a whinge’.

I would have been more interested in a piece that explored why motherhood is a joyful experience for her, based on her own personal experience. But then perhaps a Sunday paper would not have run such a piece, without the requisite ‘mothers divided’ undertone. Maybe then she would have been praised, not pilloried.

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