Friday, 31 January 2014

Social media evolution or New Year resolution?

I know I am a walking contradiction.  Despite uploading my stories and likes online, I have a paranoid (yet I think valid) belief that all our online activities, thoughts, opinions will come back and bite us in the bum, literally - this truthfully scares me.

I still can’t program a TV or use a smart phone. I go to the phone store for staff to unlock my phone or top up my credit. My reliance on email and telephone to keep in touch with people has reduced. I have graduated to Skype, Facebook, and the occasional text.  I am a modern woman.

As a user, I find myself questioning myself and the mediums I use that now play an important role in connecting me to friends, relatives and colleagues.

Skype allows my children to interact with their cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends located around the world  - in real time. Skype keeps me on my toes as my mother comments on my appearance, weight, whether my children look fed and clean.  I watch her glance into the background to see whether the house is tidy.  

Before agreeing to a Skype session, I turn on the camera on my laptop to see what my mother will see. Is my hair OK, do I need to adjust the lighting?

I cover the dark circles under my eyes, comb my hair, and like a TV journalist sitting behind a desk; I wear a nice fresh flattering top.  If the camera scrolled down, you would see pyjama bottoms or tracksuit pants, and worse my UN pedicured feet.  

While the interaction is real, are we being real?

I have a gripe with Facebook. Like an airport that unites and separates me from friends and relatives – I love it and hate it.  I love the fact I can keep in touch with friends, find out who is doing what.  Facebook to me is like a mobile home, where I can peer through the curtains and look into other people’s homes to see what they are doing. I can either pull back the curtains, open the window and wave (interact), or watch silently.

What I hate about Facebook, aside from making me an occasional creepy online stalker (admit it at one point everyone consciously or not does a bit of online stalking), is the fact that it makes us all fifteen again.

I can ask someone to be my friend, or I can drop them. I can let them in to the inner circle, or partially in. I can poke, comment or ignore all without consequence.

I have a Facebook friend I am really pleased to have. We met at a party some years back. I thought he was seriously clever with his smart opinion on global issues, countries, situations. At the party I sat like a groupie listening to him rattle on about the state of the world. I was pleased that we became Facebook friends. I read his commentary and shake my head in disbelief. How do I know somebody so smart?  He writes about corrupt politicians and I upload photos of my children. AND he hit’s ‘like’!

I have another Facebook friend that for a range of reasons am itching to drop – but won’t. The friend request sat in my inbox for weeks. I didn’t want to accept it, but I knew that if I didn’t, I would be that mean girl at school that nobody liked but everyone was friendly with.  It takes courage to send a friend request. It’s rude to ignore it.

Mr. Lucky and I have friends in common (really? How strange you may say). No really, we do. One particular individual for reasons unknown to us has limited Mr. Lucky's view on their profile. Does this individual not realise that Mr. Lucky and I communicate?  While I love being an individual in a relationship – its circumstances like these that some must realise in some instances, we come as package deal. It’s not one or the other.

So, while we keep in touch with our friends and family, we revert to being teenagers, (well perhaps I do).  We angst about how we look on Skype. We count the number of friends we have and compare them to others.  We comment on the mundane (who is dieting, who has had dinner at what restaurant). We ask ourselves have we tweeted enough, commented enough. Are my comments cool, smart, natural, needed and why?

What am I trying to say? I worry that social media, in addition while keeping us connected does it control us in ways we don't realise? How free are we really when we are always in touch, always sharing ideas, thoughts and opinion?  When do we allow ourselves and our children privacy?

In his article 'Is Media just another word for control' (2/1/2014)  John Pilger wrote: 'We all live in an information age - or so we tell each other as we caress our smart phones like rosary beads, heads down, checking, monitoring, tweeting. We're wired; we're on message; and the dominant theme of the message is ourselves. Identity is the zeitgeist. A lifetime ago in 'Brave New World', Aldous Huxley predicted this as the ultimate means of social control because it was voluntary, addictive and shrouded in illusions of personal freedom. Perhaps the truth is that we live not in an information age but a media age.‘

Now that I potentially look and sound smart, and I mull over my and John's thoughts, I am going to suck it up and take another step into the information or as John puts it, media  age… Staring my bravado in its face, I have decided to join the other mummy bird bloggers, and start tweeting.  I have managed Twitter accounts for work and corporates, but never for me.  As a newbie in this area – any advice is welcome.

Am I falling further into the clutches of a controlled media age or is my desire to meet my New Year resolution to distribute my stories simply ego?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's daily blog challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more. 

'Is Media just another word for control' John Pilger Website published 2/1/2014
Image courtesy of smarnad /

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Writer’s block

Its 3.17 am. I am wide awake. Little Miss has taken over my side of the bed. Mr. Lucky is in snore heaven. I am not there to kick him or roll him over to his ‘non snore’ side.

Once up, I stand with my crazy mop hair in my not so flattering pyjamas in the lounge room.  I don’t have that middle of the night sex goddess look. Ever.  Even when I wake up in the morning I can’t say I have ever resembled anything other than someone freakishly scary. Thankfully my children don’t know the meaning of monsters otherwise they would think they were waking up to big scary looking one. I send another prayer of thanks towards Mr. Lucky. He doesn’t see crazy mop hair monster either.

I look around and sigh. I could follow in my mother’s middle of the night insomnia fed footsteps and iron, mop the floor, pick up the toys.  I could get that pristine house look and smell going or I could log on and write.

I go for the latter.  My look is better matched to that one of a disheveled writer than a suburban housekeeper (though I think both are equally frightening in the middle of the night).

Creative people generally write at odd hours. Thinking I am creative, I lie in bed making up stories, thinking about issues, products or stories I would like to write about.  A sentence or story or poem can entertain me for what I think is hours bringing me to life as a beat starts to get my fingers typing and toes tapping. Like an uncoordinated dancer, tonight or rather, this morning – I got no rhythm.

This blog a day challenge has been fun.  I have enjoyed it.  I have done really well. I have managed  to keep up, all the while pretending to do a great job with Little Miss, the baby and Mr. Right. Today, I have nothing. Nothing! 

I have taken a break, checked emails, surfed the net, had a glass of milk, a chocolate, looked out the window to see if anyone odd is walking the street, pressed my ear against the common wall - our neighbors are normally up at this time of the night arguing. Still nothing to inspire me. 

I start to worry about the impact this two hour crazy intense computer workout will have on me tomorrow morning, will I be sore?  

Writing this type of nothingness sometimes helps my writing morph from nothing into something meaningful. One hour on – and guess what? Nothing!  Look on the bright side. There is something lovely about nothingness. There is an elegance with being still, quiet.   

For once I will let wash over me, and not worry.  Hopefully my writing style matches my state of being. Complete and utter calm and peace. Time for bed.  Breathe in; breathe out (apologies) and a very early good morning from Greece.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more.

Image courtesy of debspoons /

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Blue Rinse

I have black eyebrows. They don’t match my natural hair color, though to be honest, I don’t remember what that is. It’s somewhere between mousey brown to dark brown. As a child it was sun streaked blonde. I’d pay a lot of money now to get that look.

I used to dye my hair black or very dark colors so that my eyebrows and hair would match. I once had to cut most of my long hair off and go short because I had dyed my hair so many times it just wouldn’t take any more color. It took years to grow back. 

Another time my hair turned green. The hairdresser nearly passed out and had to get a color specialist in to put forward some recommendations.  We just dyed my hair a boring brown for about two years until the green or dead hair grew out – or snapped off.

Now, I just dye my hair to cover the grey. It’s not a new phenomenon, I started to go grey years ago – it’s just gotten progressively worse.  Every time I get my hair dyed at the salon, I get a flashback to Clairol advertisement where a woman sang ‘I’m gonna wash that grey right out of my hair.’ I sometimes sing it at the salon – but the hairdresser is too young to remember the ad.

My hairdresser advised I should gradually lighten the color, so that the grey won’t stand out.
She matches my roots to the dark blonde streaks she has put in my hair each time – so it will be a gradual and apparently natural change. I have no idea if this is a way to keep me as a regular customer but she thinks slowly starting to work and the grey doesn’t come back as I am not going back for touch up's as often.  I don’t think she realises that I am cheap, and try to stretch it out as much as possible.

People strive to add an extra kilometre to their run. I try to add an extra week to the space between each dye session.  I have managed to stretch it out to 8 weeks.  I am now aiming for 9.  I am a woman with goals.

I also need to psyche myself up for the visit.  I just can’t take another two hours (yes that how long it takes) of Celine Dion. I don’t know if she thinks I like Celine, or need her. I don’t have anything against the woman (except for the fact that she has publicly admitted to owning 2000 pairs of shoes). I just don’t want to listen to her. Period. Ever.

I decided a long time ago that when the time came to go fully grey, I would actually go for a blue rinse.  My father in law was a hairdresser, and I used to love sitting in his salon watching the old biddies come in for their blue rinse and blow dry.

Being a modern day woman I wonder when I will decide to stop dying and go natural.  All of my friends dye their hair. I haven’t yet asked whether they do it for fashion or out of necessity.

My question to all of you is… do you think you will ever go natural. And if yes, when?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

"Image Blue Liquid" by posterize /".

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

A call out

Before kids, I struggled to look neat. When I worked for serious and busy corporates and had to wear stockings and closed shoes even heels in the summer, it was an hourly struggle to keep my shirt tucked into my skirt or trousers, keep my hair tidy and despite working a ten hour day, look fresh.

At a global conference I was responsible for, I had been up for more than 24 hours, running around with those ridiculous Madonna earpieces trying to find the missing keynote speaker, manage a delegate that had bought her mother to the conference (I know!) and who demanded  that mummy have her own hotel room at the organisations' cost, all the while tweeting updates to our clients and waiting for a stream of phone calls to come in regarding rumors of a merger.

You can only imagine how I looked. At some point, my heels had come off to be replaced with a pair of flats one can only describe as ‘fat feet, future bunion friendly granny pumps’, the suit jacket had run off somewhere with the heels and part of my shirt had decided to hang out over my belt.

When I changed organisations and industries, their idea of business attire was black jeans coupled with a suit jacket. Without stockings and ridiculous heels, things were looking up, but I still struggled to look crisp.

Since having children, my neat struggle became weighed down with that stubborn unmovable and but wobbly post baby belly (hello black loose wardrobe) accessorised with food, vomit, play dough or paint stains.

Babies have bibs, toddlers have smocks, moving into the adult world - nurses, police and fire fighters wear uniforms, mechanics wear overalls, forensic investigators and doctors wear scrubs.

There is a certain something about people in uniform that make common civilians turn their head when a fire engine or police car goes by. It's not the siren, it's not the destination (they could really be saving a cat from a tree). It's the uniform.

Arresting people is not sexy, putting out fires is not really as hot as it seems. Saving lives? Let's leave that one alone.  We parent's and carers keep order, we have (house) rules, we manage the unruly (toddler tantrums), we put out fires (ok a BBQ or gas stove top isn't a house burning), but you get the idea.

We develop, nurture, protect, love and raise the innocent. We have equally if not more important roles. So...where is our uniform that turns heads?

I am tired of having mud marks on my jeans as Little Miss scrambles up for a cuddle after running through the muddy park for a hug. Or the vomit on my shoulder that looks like bird poo.

At the end of each day, Mr Right and I look like we’ve had some fun kinky mud wrestling session, when all we've really done is look after the kids.

So, I ask again....where is our uniform? Why haven’t baby product and clothes makers created a pair of fashionable liquid, food and other substance proof overalls or aprons that mums, dad's or carers can wear around the house and out?

I would love to put on a flattering uniform every morning that says ‘Very important and extremely good looking HOT HOT HOT mother / carer coming your way'

So am waiting people.  Are there any entrepreneurs or designers out there prepared to take my idea and put together a uniform that screams ‘Yummy Mummy’. Fashion stylists only need apply.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Run baby run

I recently had a night out on the town without Mr. Right and the ankle biters (AB’s).  The 30 September 2013 was a great night it was the first time I went out and stayed out past midnight.

Below is how this Cinderella achieved the impossible. An uninterrupted night out on the town. I expect to go out again this year. It’s good to have goals and dreams.

  • The day of the outing, tire the AB’s out. And I mean really tire them out. This has two benefits. 1. In exhausting the ABs, they may stay asleep all night so the likelihood of you getting that middle of the night panic call to come home is substantially reduced. 2. In having an active day, it may take the edge off you. You won’t look like ‘mummy on the town’ you just won’t have the energy to look as though you are having a good time. You either will have a good time, or you won’t. 
  • Prepare your outfit a few nights before the big night.  Prepare every detail and be happy with it. Last minute panic changes on the night risk waking AB’s. 
  • Say good bye to your Mr. or Ms. Right before getting changed.  Once changed, get out that front door and run. Run baby run and run FAST. Don’t look back. Don't feel guilty.  Create a good distance between you and your home before you check your phone. Reduce the chances of a change of heart or a Mr. / Mrs Right not a real emergency panic call.
  • AB’s are clever. They will know something is up.  Fool them is by wearing your selected outfit around the house a few days before the big night out.  If they wake up that night, and you are there to comfort them in your glam outfit, they will fall back asleep quickly. They will develop a false sense of security so it’s unlikely they will wake up on the big night out. 
  • Don’t introduce AB’s to new scents on the night of your outing. Apply perfume / hair product when you have left the property. 
  • Prepare for every wake up scenario possible.  In AB’s room, put out the following:

    Clean sheets, pyjamas, water, milk (long life works – get the AB used to the taste prior to the evening out), bottle warmer, nappy, wet wipes, cream, antibacterial hand gel (so Mr. Right doesn’t have to leave the room), pyjamas for Mr. or Mrs. Right, a potty (for either the AB or Mr. / Mrs. Right and a snack for Mr. / Mrs. Right – it could be a long night. 
  • In negotiating a night out, remember to include the right to sleep in the next day. You may need the morning to recover / call people to find out what happened or if you need to, spend the morning on the phone apologising.  
  • Don’t pressure Mr /Ms Right to call you if they need help. Holding one or two crying AB’s and trying to make a call is difficult and stressful.
  • Ask Mr / Mrs Right to leave the front door unlocked that night. Best to risk security for one night, than have the AB’s wake up to the sound of keys rattling and you stumbling your way in through the front door. If they refuse, put a blanket in the car and sleep there.  
  • Prepare next day activities / play date in advance, something low key for you, but high energy for the AB's. This will help getting you all to bed and staying in bed early.
  • Even if you are having a terrible time, stay out as late as possible. Going home early sets a precedent for next year’s outing. Get Mr. / Mrs. Right used to you being out as late as possible.

And there you have it. Enjoy your night out.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Holy Smoke

On Friday night, we decided to break routine and do as the Greek’s do, go out with our children after 7 pm.

This town is the Greek version of Home and Away’s, Summer Bay – only it’s not that sleepy. Greece’s Summer Bay is really Mykonos with children.

We walked to our local Paidotopo, a café that is also a children’s play centre. Its opening hours are 10 a.m to 2 p.m, then 5.30 p.m. to 12.00 a.m! 

Our local Paidotopo is like walking onto set for an episode of Cheers for Children, where everybody knows your name. It’s warm, friendly and fun.

Our local has a thousand activities, an indoor slippery dip, jumping castle, a dedicated supervisor who takes the children gently by the hand and plays with them for as long as you are there. She is not frightened to return naughty children to their parents, and will not tolerate bullying.  Best of all, 
Paidotopo has a bar, (of course for the parents).

The owner (his name is Archilea, not Sam), was pleased to see that I broke routine and decided to have a life after 7 pm, lined up free shots to celebrate.  I couldn’t help but accept.  A shot for me, him, and Mr. Right, and any other parent willing to celebrate my breaking routine. 

I ordered a drink (not coffee or a herbal tea) and made my way to a table, navigating the pushchair like L plater without her glasses.  Sadly I have become a one drink wonder.

My Baily’s on ice arrived shortly after.  It was a juice glass filled to the brim. There was more Bailey’s than ice. This is not uncommon in Greece. You get value for money here. Funnily enough, you rarely see anyone drunk.   I knew I would have to sit on it for about five hours to ensure I didn't join the baby in the pushchair for the ride home.

We sat chatting to other parents; we were having a great time as was Little Miss.  

There were two sections in the café. Smoking and non smoking. It didn't really make a difference where we sat, the smell of nicotine slowly made its way over to where we sat.  

I worried about Baby sleeping in her pushchair and the effects of second hand smoke. I worried about Little Miss, thinking she was lining her lungs with tar each time she ran through the smoking section to get to me, to tell me she was having a good time.

The music wasn't pumping but it got everybody’s toe tapping.  Some got up and started to dance and sing.  Children, too young to get embarrassed joined their parents, others sat at the tables watching.  

Everyone was having a good time, but me.

I wasn't sure whether it was the strength of the smell of nicotine, or my paranoia that spoilt my mood. I just wasn't comfortable with children (and importantly my children) being exposed to cigarette smoke.

We got home and for the first time in a long time Little Miss went to bed without a struggle.  When I put the Baby and Little Miss to bed, I couldn't help but smell the scent of nicotine on their hair.  I don’t often need an excuse not to sleep, but the smell and the worry kept me wide eyed.

Greece has made multiple attempts to introduce anti-smoking laws. They've largely been ignored.  
Smoking in Greece was at the highest rate of tobacco consumption (more than 40%) in the European Union in 2010. There are smokers everywhere. You just can’t avoid it.

I know it is way too early to create a connection between anti-smoking laws and life expectancy, other factors such as stress and lifestyle need to factored in but…

The overall life expectancy in Australia is 83 years.  In the United Kingdom it’s 81. In Greece, where caution is thrown to the wind, rules are broken all the time, people are told to relax, and of course they do, life expectancy is 81 years.

I can’t help but think, who is really living?

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern’s blog a day challenge.  Visit Melodramatic Me for more.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Long time waiting

We were never close enough to talk about the stress of not being able to conceive.

She never told anyone about the ache in her heart and arms, wanting to cuddle, love and look after a child of her own.

As a couple they never let the pressure show when her life, lifestyle, socio, economic, cultural background was continuously assessed.

We never discussed the agony of waiting to find out whether they had been approved, let alone the wait to find a child.

The financial pressures were and continue to remain unknown.

Not once, did they ever complain.

They never shared the story of the international flight to meet them for the first time.

They may have told immediate family and friends. But we, the extended family had no idea.  In our world, they were a childless couple, and then all of a sudden they were a family of four.

Years ago, my cousin and her husband adopted two children.  This blog is a tribute to this couple’s strength, endurance, commitment to each other and to creating a family.

We lucky ones wait nine months to meet our children. In Australia, five years is the typical wait time to for families who adopted a child from overseas in 2012–13. This has increased by 2 years since 2007–08.  The cost can be up to $40 000.*

Can you imagine? Waiting for years to have a child, then all of a sudden you have two?  What a responsibility, who do you cuddle first? How do you make both feel loved and secure at the same time?

Applicants have to meet the eligibility requirements set by the Australian State or Territory in which the application is being lodged, AND the eligibility criteria of the overseas country of the adoptive child.

Inter country adoption requires multiple assessments of the continued suitability of prospective parents*

How would you fare with the endless paperwork, the continued assessments, the wait?  Such a sterile, long process where you just have to keep it together and when you pass, imagine the relief, and then the new pressure of meeting and then caring for not one but two children?

Parents to newborns remember the instant they laid their eyes on their baby.  Depending on the age of the child, adoptive parents have the additional pressure of ensuring their first meeting with their new child or children is welcoming, soft, loving but not so overwhelming for the child that it becomes frightening. What pressure, imagine trying to control your emotions after such a long journey?

That’s not where the story ends. Then there is the flight home, overcoming the jet lag, the settling in, the establishment of a family dynamic, importantly a safe haven for these children, a home.

Looking at photos and the very rare occasional international Skype session, I see a family that look incredibly happy and united.  Of course like any family or couple there will be the typical ups and downs. But what is important is that these children have a safe, warm and comfortable home. They have doting parents and an extended family that can’t wait to cuddle and tickle them when they next see them.

I expect this blog will come as a surprise to my cousin (if she read it, that is). But I have always wanted her (and of course her husband) to know she has a little fan club on this side of the world.

Is there anyone you secretly admire that you want outed?

Adoption Statistics for Australia and the UK.

  • In 2012 / 2013 there were 129 adoptions in Australia. 38% of those were Inter county adoptions *
  • In the UK, 5,206 adoptions were entered into the Adopted Children Register (ACR) following court orders made in England (4,835) and Wales (371) during 2012. This is an increase of 9.8% on the 4,740 adoptions entered in 2011.** NB Figures on the ACR include adoptions by relatives and step–parents as well as adoptions from care.

* Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 2013
**BAAF Adoption and Fostering

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Back to work blues

While I was on maternity leave, pretending I knew what I was doing with Little Miss, my role became redundant.  I loved that job even though I had worked ridiculous hours in a very unhealthy environment.  I had been looking forward to going back to work and its challenges but dreaded being away from Little Miss.   

I went into mourning and started to wear more black.

I looked for other work but couldn't secure a role that offered flexible work hours and seniority, something I would have had, had I returned to the role I left, or lost.

Recruiters advised that I should take a full time job and work my way to flexibility after a year, more likely two years. Some even advised I just take a role less challenging / demanding.

My black dress code soon became mixed with angry.

I secured a part time role that was challenging.  I was made to think and juggle an enormous workload. The role lacked seniority and bells and whistles associated with that.  The travel (cheapest not the shortest route) to remote places was not fun or romantic.  The hotels were grim.  The food allowance was pittance. The untrained monkey (my ego) took another hit. 

Black and angry got a new companion, frustration.

I loved being a strategic decision maker. I loved managing budgets and people. The part time role didn't offer that, but for once in a very long time, I worked with lovely, smart dedicated professionals, in an environment that was healthy and free of nasty politics.

Black, angry, frustration…meet acceptance.

About two weeks into the role, I fell pregnant. I didn't realise until I was just over 3 months that I was pregnant. Yes of course there were the typical signs, but I assumed I was reacting poorly to returning to work and the job. I missed Little Miss terribly, and it was not the job I had envisaged returning to.

I drowned frustration with joy.

I took a year off when I had the Baby and we moved to Greece for a few months. It’s now coming to an end.  Soon we will be kissing the sun and great food, friends, relatives and even neighbors good bye to return to London.

Include sad in black, angry and acceptance. 

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's Melodramatic Me blog a day challenge. 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Things to know about motherhood

  1. There will be days that you just want to cry and that is ok
  2. Baby poo can travel all the way up the back
  3. A baby on the 7 pm to 7 am sleep routine will never be yours
  4. Toddlers hate washing their hair their screams can be heard all the way down the street
  5. Toddlers like to be held even though they weigh 22 kgs
  6. Sleeping in, means getting out of bed at 7 am
  7. Sleeping through the night means more than four hours sleep 
  8. Walking barefoot during toilet training or baby weaning is not a good idea
  9. There are no more private moments in the bathroom
  10. If you have nowhere to go, getting dressed in the morning is an achievement
  11. If you’re an older parent, it’s unlikely you will ever get your pre baby body back without the help of a personal trainer and dietitian. Just let it go. Really, let it go
  12. Cutting baby or toddler nails is bloody hard 
  13. Toddlers don’t care if they can’t color in between the lines, why should you?
  14. A toddler can't differentiate between a toaster and a dvd player
  15. Going to a restaurant with children is as stressful as attending a job interview
  16. Staying up late for you now means up till 10.30 pm
  17. Shopping with your children is a nightmare. Do it online
  18. Co sleeping is lovely but kills your sex life

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more information.

Image "Check List Note Paper" by David Castillo Dominici /

To jab or not to?

I have always been a relatively compliant individual.  I follow the rules. I am generally a law abiding citizen.  OK I occasionally jaywalk; if I drive I might exceed the speed limit. One could never describe me as somebody living on the edge.  I always listened to a doctor’s advice, if unwell and prescribed anti biotics I take the entire course of tablets, even if I don’t think I need to.

When I met Mr. Right, he empowered me to ask questions, think and seek second opinion. This rule abiding girl started to wake up and see that she could break some rules and become an active participant in the decision making process.

This was all fine and dandy until we had children and discussed immunisation.  Did I want to inject my girls with a range of medical cocktails?  Was I prepared to watch my babies howl in pain? Was I prepared to risk the side effects? If I didn’t immunise was I prepared to see the girls get sick and fight an illness I could have prevented? Would they get sick at all? Did they really need to be immunised?

As post World War babies raised in Europe, my parents were never immunised. They’re in their late 70’s soon to be 80’s now. Yes my father experienced a damaging / scaring incident of whooping cough in his 60’s but other than the regular issues relating to age combined with a heart condition both parents are and have been relatively OK.

Despite my general love of drugs during labor and when I am in pain – I do like to consider alternative therapies / treatments. Sometimes I even let nature run its course.  When it comes to my kids – things are a little different.

Like a swinging pendulum I couldn’t decide whether or not to immunise. Mr. Right and I talked it over at length.  We read up on it, we sought opinion, we spoke to specialists. Did we do enough? I don’t know.

For a range of reasons based on advice, research, our own medical histories and experiences, our environment, and the countries we planned to live in or visit, we choose to immunise.   But let me make an important point. I am not pro immunsation.  I am pro-choice.  

There are plenty of reasons out there to immunise and not to. Parents are burdened with making a range of decisions for their child. Immunisation is just one. This is an enormous responsibility.

It scares me that parents can be prosecuted for their decisions, read Mommypotamus’ blog for more information and opinion on the pro's and cons of immunisation.

I have been silently following social media conversations between people I know, and some I don’t on the merits (or not) of immunisation.  This self-confessed immunisation fence sitter has become frightened.

The opinions flowing back and forth like daggers are dangerous. In publishing opinion, have they read enough?  What defines enough? One book, one research paper or ten? Have they talked to the right people? Are they hearing only what they want to hear or learn?   Who are they influencing by publicly expressing their opinion?

What terrifies me the most is the suggestion of bad parenting.   Words escape me when I think of this. The suggestion is WRONG WRONG WRONG!

All parents I know or have recently met want the best for their child.  I can safely say most parents in the world want the best.  Of course the world has it's freaky nasty parents. We read or hear about them and shake our heads in disbelief . But, I am not talking about them.

Call me naïve but I suspect that parental decisions (for immunisation) are generally reached and agreed upon based on what is right for that family, person or circumstance.  Public slamming of these decisions can become dangerous.  I worry about the consequences.

Do you?

This blog, albeit late in the day forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more blogs.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Home Sweet Home

It was my turn to pick up Little Miss from nursery. Given it was a ten minute round trip ride, I decided to take a risk.

I didn't pack Little Miss’ trip home snack (the only way to coax her home after an exciting day at nursery). I took the risk with the Baby.  I didn't dress her as warmly as I should have,thinking she will be exposed to the elements for a total of one minute.

I didn't take the nappy / spare change of clothes bag - thinking even a serious accident could wait ten minutes.

I took a risk with myself. No jacket, no grandma singlet (or in the UK they call them vests) to tuck into my jeans under my very thin top. No makeup, no money. Just the phone and keys.

We got home without incident.  Little Miss agreed to wait until we got indoors for her snack and the Baby was showing signs of falling asleep on routine without a tear.

We got to our front door; I put the key in – nothing. The door wouldn't swing open; the key stubbornly refused to turn. I tried again. Little Miss tells me to hurry up. The Baby starts to wiggle. Nothing again. I panic, take deep breath, tell Little Miss nicely ‘Please be quiet for moment’ and try again. Nothing.

Little Miss lay on the ground in fetal position, sniffling.  The Baby started to howl. I started to sweat, shake and tear.

I called Mr. Right in sheer panic.  Like a knight in shining armor, he arrived 40 minutes later.  Little Miss had fallen asleep on the ground. I was hyperventilating fearing Little Miss would develop rheumatism. The Baby was asleep in my arms, her head buried in my arm pit to keep warm, and I am about to pass out as I desperately needed to go to the loo.

We three run into our home (well, I do as does Little Miss; I am still holding the Baby). Little Miss runs to the kitchen. Sits down and politely asks for her snack. I put sleeping baby in her cot, with about three blankets to warm her up and run to the toilet and relax.

We’re all home safe and warm. All is well. I return smiling, tending lovingly to Little Miss and I ask Mr. Right if he would like a cup of coffee.

He was not smiling. Dead pan face. There was not even a glint of humor in his eye. He left a nice lunch out with a group of friends to rush home. He hadn't even had a sip of his beer when I called.

We weren't locked out after all. I had tried to open the door using the wrong key.  

Another experience to add to the list of stupid, embarrassing things I have done.

Please make me feel better and share your story.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more information.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Port – a – volcano

We had grand plans of making her as mobile as possible. Angel on a plane? Absolutely. Ferry? No worries. Bus? Easy. Car? Not even a second thought.

Well. Some new parents assume they will have well behaved children 24 x7. I was never that naïve. 

When we had Little Miss, I was determined that our travels and adventures would continue. She was going to be the well-travelled, adventure filled child known.

Sure the type of adventure would change. I knew we wouldn’t be able to take Little Miss to Paris to an all-night cabaret, or clubbing in Ibitha for two solid days – but I was looking forward to releasing the inner child.

I couldn’t wait to go to Ireland in search of a leprechaun, go to the Scottish Highlands in search of the Loch Ness Monster, or North America to see Big Foot.

The highlight for me would be a sleep over in the Natural History Museum in Washington. The introduction text on their website still makes shiver with excitement… ‘A night of adventure awaits you as you enter the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, just as the doors are closing, the lights dim, and the crowds shuffle out..’

I was even looking forward to her having a meltdown in the Louvre ‘Please mummy, not the Mona Lisa again, we’ve seen her so so many times!’

All that adventure and travel planned for Little Miss, who could fly for free until she was 2, all out the window. She’s a puker.

On almost that moves.  Our adventures have ground to a halt, scrap that, our adventures haven’t even started..  

When we moved from London to Greece, she puked five times on the flight.  Once before take-off. Once after we landed, and three times during the flight.  For that flight ( had delays) she averaged on chucking up once an hour.  We’ve talked about flying home to Australia to visit family. A 20 or so hour flight means 20 outfit changes for me and her. I haven’t been able to find an airline willing to let us fly naked and which would agree to hose us down every hour.   No wonder airlines are going out of business. Surely we’re not the only couple with a puker?

We haven’t bought a car. Pointless, it wouldn’t go anywhere.

We speak in code when on the rare occasion we use public transport or a taxi. ‘She’s gonna blow’ I whisper frantically - trying to unravel the plastic bag scrunched up in my lap, while opening the window as wide as possible turning Little Miss into a contortionist so that she aims her vomit (hopefully projectile) out the moving vehicle.  Mr. Right not so gracefully reaches for the wet wipes in my coat pocket and tissues in the other.

We don’t look too odd.  We’ve taken to putting Little Miss in a plastic painting smock when we get in a car or bus. If anyone asks, we pretend she has insisted on wearing it. This saves me from changing her and carrying around vomit stained clothes all day. The smock goes in the bin (ok not particularly environmental I know but for now it’s my only solution).

The baby (I will find a better description of her someday) is the opposite. Put her on a roller coaster and she will smile and gurgle the entire way. So, we have the baby waiting to travel, and the one that screams ‘STOP’ when she is the backseat of a car, and the engine is off.

We’re hoping she will grow out if it… she’s nearly three now and isn’t showing any signs of stopping her spontaneous eruption during motion.  I am terrified we’ll be confined to our area only. I have explored every inch of it already. There are no museums, art galleries or leprechauns. It’s now winter so too cold to go in search of the fairies at the end of the garden.

We’ve started to talk about our lost adventures in the hope that Little Miss exerts mind over motion and guilts herself into keeping it all down until we get out of the car, plane, train, bus.  Fingers crossed this works. The money we’ve saved on lack of travel – will be spent on counseling if it doesn’t. 

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's 30 day blogging challenge. Read Melodramatic Me for more information.

Sunday, 19 January 2014


In a previous blog I mentioned my pregnancy weight.  For both girls I was huge. Enormous. I looked as though I was about to explode. And that was at 6 months.

With Little Miss – I went three weeks over the due date. I suspect she didn’t want to come out because she knew I had no idea what to do once she arrived. She was safe in all that warm floaty fluid. 

Leading up to getting pregnant, I wasn’t feeling well. I had stomach pains, I couldn’t sleep, and my weight went up then down.  I thought it was stress; I had a very stressful job that in retrospect I should have left years before.  My doctor disregarded my self diagnosis and suggested I go on a no preservatives, no alcohol, and caffeine free diet.  When I heard this, I got stressed.  

Reluctantly I went on the diet. I already exercised so after a six month combination of healthy eating and exercise, I had to admit, I felt great. But OH MY GOD I was boring.  I hated going to restaurants, as I always went for the safest meal – fish and steamed vegetables. I stopped attending work drinks, as it was all too tempting.  And then I fell pregnant.

I rejoiced for two reasons. I could justify my self-imposed boringness.  There was, in my mind real reason to watch what I ate – not some health freak rationale. I had to protect the little blimp in my womb, and I was pregnant.

I didn’t have morning sickness, I continued to exercise (gently) and work like a dog. I was going to do it all.  I continued to watch what I ate.  I got big, then bigger, then huge.  People would ask me if I was carrying twins. The doctor advised it was all normal.

Three weeks past my due date and I was induced. Oh how I howled (and that was while waiting to be induced). I was terrified. When the labor pains kicked in – I begged them to stop the pain. They gave me gas and air and I was quickly off my face.

I refused to let Mr. Right talk to the midwife for fear he would distract her and I would miss the opportunity for an epidural. Yes people, I was not going to go natural. I wanted drugs, all of them.  I was so off my nut on gas and air that I didn’t feel the epidural. 

Twenty hours later, Little Miss still refused to arrive. I had an emergency caesarian, and Little Miss came out at a whopping 9.11 pound. For those of you not in the know. That is absolutely HUGE and there was no way Little Miss would have been able to come out the normal way without causing damage.

People say healthy diet and exercise during pregnancy makes for an easy labor. Well, let me tell you, it was not the case for me.

For pregnancy number two I was sick. Constantly. I initially thought my illness was due to me going back to work after Little Miss.  You see, my boring diet and exercise regime continued after Little Miss. I couldn’t work out why I was so unwell.  When I worked it out I was shocked.

My cravings were bad. I couldn’t retain a healthy diet as much as I tried. I could guzzle a super sized packet of crisps and family block of chocolate faster than you can say broccoli.

I loved having an excuse to eat like pig and let it all just hang out.  Oh I reveled in it. Like the fat kid in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,  I ate and ate and ate, fruit, veg, chocolate, ice-cream.  It was never enough. I was always so hungry that I thought I would pass out from hunger.  Control yourself, the doctors would say. I couldn’t hear them as I was too busy salivating, waiting to leave the consultation room for a pack of crisps.

My back went, my hips ached, and I was out of breath.  I would get on the bus or tube for work – and I could almost hear passengers calling out ‘Warning wide load approaching, beep beep beep!’

I was so big that I had a caesarian three weeks before the due date. Oh and the epidural HURT. 

The day the baby was born, I lost 20 kilos of fluid. Apparently it wasn’t my diet that made me huge, I carried a lot of fluid. I sort of knew because when I was in a car taking a sharp turn, I felt as though I was holding a fish bowel – that threatened to spill over.

Oh my she was cute.  A full head of hair and substantially smaller. She was a normalish sized baby at 8.4 pounds.

So why bore you with pregnancy and birth stories? You’ve heard them all before?  I bore you because, the two days my girls were born were the most exciting and best days of my life.  Oh, and it’s my blog so I can write anything I want to.

This blog forms part of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge. Visit Melodramatic Me for more information.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Mr. Lucky

I am often asked how Mr. Lucky got his name.  Well,

Before marriage and children, he was carefree, funny, loving and relaxed.   While still generally well natured and balanced, good things and often great things (and I don’t mean me) happen to him…..

  • He will go out for a walk and come back with a new job.
  • He will go out for a drink and come back smiling and giggling after having had one too many and tell me he met a great group of people who piled him with drinks. They’re now solid friends.
  • He was born into an enormous family who I call the Brady’s as they are loving, happy, supportive and genuinely nice people – no skeletons there.
  • His mother loves him unconditionally – and I mean unconditionally.
  • His sister’s think he walks on water (this explains why he never did household chores and most likely had his sisters wash his feet and dry them with their hair).
  • Just when he starts to worry about money, he finds a huge stash in an old pair of jeans or wins the lottery.
  • He will ‘diet’ for a day and look as though he has lost about 20 kgs
  • He is fortunate not to have a pillow smother him while he sleeps to drown out his snoring.
  • He is lucky I didn't throw my mug of hot coffee over him when he told me he wasn't competing but was going to set up a blog called 'Daddyfried'.
  •  He will go out all night, or be up all night and look nice and fresh the next day.

So I call him Mr. Lucky.  Hopefully after reading this blog, he will be pleased that he got a mention and feel sufficiently loved up to rub my back and pick up the baby when she cries at 4 am.

On a rare occasion I call him Mr. Checked Out.  He is there but not really. He blames this on sleep deprivation. I can only imagine how his snoring, and tending to the children’s midnight crying exhausts him.

It’s during his Mr. Checked out phase that I find the right answers to:

  • Extending our budget to allow for more clothes
  • Going on holiday to visit my family (they’re not the Brady’s, more like Halloween mixed with a touch of Saw, and every subsequent sequel)
  • Disciplining the children
  • Asking if he would let me lie in for the next three days while he manages the children

Hopefully he will have stopped reading before I began to describe him as Mr. Checked Out so that the back rubs continue.

This blog is the result of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge visit Melodramatic Me for more information.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The Wicked Witch is dead

Admit it; we all know one child we don’t think is cute. When we see it, (him / her) we are polite generally because we like the parents.

Funnily enough this is the only time I consciously try to be the adult. I realise like the kid or not, as the adult I have to behave.  Adults, when dealing with children have the ability to scar the little critter with a comment, snarl, and curl of lip or glare. I just don’t want that on my conscious.

I have a family friend (FF) whose face freezes like an evil witch when my beautiful Little Miss enters the room.  It comes as no surprise that Little Miss becomes Little Miss Shite in FF’s company.

To Little Miss’ defense, she can’t help it.  How can she possibly be expected to behave when FF suggests she play in the hallway rather in FF’s formal lounge close to mummy and daddy so she doesn't accidentally knock over the lamp, a table or spill her juice on the expensive lounge.

I genuinely liked FF. We hit it off instantly and became solid friends. I got caught up with the idea that I had found a new friend, somebody I could laugh with and who would listen to my crazy ideas or thoughts without judgment.  I was too busy being romanced to notice what was really going on. 

When I noticed FF’s reaction to Little Miss, I started to despair.  I know there are moments (generally during a tantrum or a projectile vomit incident) that only a mother could love their child.  But Little Miss generally is good kid (except when we travel in cars, buses, planes or if she doesn't want to leave the park, pick up her toys, sit on the potty, eat, sleep, talk to grandma or grandpa, or visit particular people).  I knew I had to end the relationship.

FF made Little Miss miserable.  I am not confrontational (except with Mr. Right, so I am told).  I hate conflict. I was not going to confront FF, I decided I was going to back away gently from the relationship and keep contact and visits to a minimum until they either improved or gradually faded away.

I didn’t want Little Miss to give FF a second thought. Leaving the relationship without drama was the only way in my mind that Little Miss would forget about the Wicked Witch. I told Mr. Right about my wicked plan and he thought I was insane. He hadn’t noticed FF’s behavior, or Little Miss’ reactions.
We visited FF. Little Miss, the baby and I spent the entire day at FF’s house while Mr. Right and FF’s husband tended to ‘men’s business.’

I prepared Little Miss by bringing along an activity bag. This normally entertains her for about three minutes, but on this visit she spent, I kid you not, the entire visit being Little Miss Angel.

Shove that up your curling lip, get on your broomstick and fly away, I thought when FF’s frozen face started to soften.  I started to relax.  Perhaps I misjudged FF. Perhaps I was a little overprotective (no surprise there), perhaps FF wasn't as bad as I thought?

When Mr. Right and FF’s husband returned from their male bonding men’s business day, we went out for a late lunch to an outdoor café with a large garden.  Taking advantage of the outdoors, Little Miss promptly took out her bubble blower and bubble liquid.

She took great delight in blowing bubbles and chasing after them.  FF asked Little Miss to blow her bubbles away from the table. Little Miss failed to comply as she couldn’t control the direction of the wind (what nearly 3 year old can?).  The bubbles continued to dance in the breeze, often coming our way.

It was beautiful. Little Miss had created a magical atmosphere. I was about to praise her when FF got up, stormed over to Little Miss, snatched the liquid and the bubble blower from her hand and told her enough was enough.

She advised that the popping bubbles were staining her new expensive jacket. Little Miss burst into tears.  I cuddled Little Miss and looked at Mr. Right with my ‘I told you so’ face.

We swallowed lunch pretending to have the appetite of a starving nation. We politely said goodbye and haven’t seen FF or her husband since.

Moral to the story?  Mr. Rights, listen to your partners / wives/ girlfriends. When it comes to our kid’s we’re always right.

More importantly, pay close attention. If your angel becomes Little Miss Shite or Little Mr. Shite in the company of friends, they are either: hungry, tired, bored, cold or hot.  If it’s none of these, then they hate your friend because your friend (new or old) is a dick.  Pretty easy to work out eh?

This blog is the result of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge visit Melodramatic Me for more information.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Blogging without boarders

I love reading people’s blogs. I have a few favorites. After this 30 day challenge, I expect I will have a few more to add to the list.

Woogs World is probably my all-time favorite. I go to her blog site and generally expect that I will leave thinking or smiling about what she has written all day.

Of course I wouldn't have stumbled across this 30 day challenge if I didn’t have a love of Lisa Lintern’s Melodramatic me. Her blog today made me hiccup in an attempt to suppress a sob. I could relate.

With family in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Greece and the USA  I have a love / hate relationship with airports. When family arrive - I love going to the airport. When they leave, I am a mess walking away from the departures gate mascara and probably foundation streaks on my cheeks. Security are probably not far behind, making sure that the unstable crying freak leaves the building.

Like my family, my favorite bloggers are all over the world. Granted they’re mostly limited to English speaking writers – but still their comments, stories, opinions and experiences like love, have no boarders. 

What makes a good blog? I call it my LRFP list.  Others may have other criteria - but here is mine:
  •  Location.  It doesn't matter. Unlike outrageously expensive houses in Sydney and London where good people get priced out of an area, a good blogger can be anywhere.  I like to read commentary about local incidents and experiences. I often find that  incidents or opinions can cross boarders or countries. Most mummy blogs regardless of where they live do this.
  • Reaction: I must be entertained, moved, or challenged to think about an issue, person, policy or situation. If I find my self tearing, nodding in agreement, laughing - then it's a good blog.
  • Frequency: I don't sign up to twitter, or email alerts. Despite advising on push / pull strategies, I am my own professional strategy worst nightmare. I go to my favorite blogs as and when I want to. BUT each time I go, I expect to see  new blog.
  • Personality:  If I don't know the blogger personally,  I like to think I have a feel for what that individual is like.  The blog should have it's own voice and style. like online dating, you form an image in your mind of what your potential date will be like in real terms.
    I don’t think bloggers need to consult or create a blogging style manual.
     If one follows a style manual for blogging, they lose their own personal style or stamp.  Let’s remember the purpose of the medium.
    Blogging is about individuals writing free form, about opinion, experience, thought. Yes of course organisations use blogs, as do academic institutions – and now there are multi author blogs.
     But effective blogs and successful organisations / institutions are those that create a balance between the organisation / institutional brand and the author’s own unique brand.  If there isn’t a balance, the blog can appear to be overly manufactured.  It’s one of the few mediums available that can remain raw, real and natural.
If I come to the end of the blog and want more, then that to me is the sign of a good writer. Am I walking around thinking about the commentary, the tone, the joke, the issue? That is the sign of a good writer.

What do you think makes a good blog?

This blog is the result of Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge for more information or reading go to Melodramatic Me

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Black is black

Each morning I stand in front of my wardrobe and sigh. What to wear? While my choices are extremely limited, I can easily stand there frozen in time for hours.

I simply can't decide. Black or black?

Nine months after baby number two, I don't have my pre baby body back (to be honest I never got it back after baby number one). My enormous size for both pregnancies is a blog for another day. But - to give you an idea - I was weighed the day I was to have baby number two, and the day after having number two and there was a 20 kilo difference.

I am still in my pyjamas as I type. My dilemma is worsened by the following:

1. Post baby body (already addressed)
2. Limited wardrobe. We came to Greece for a four month summer holiday. We decided to extend our stay. My winter clothes are in storage in London. The other half of my black wardrobe is in Australia at my parent's. I have largely forgotten about that wardrobe. We moved to London for a year. We stayed in London close to a decade. On a really low day - I mourn those clothes as well even though I know I won't fit into them ever again.
3.Greek women, financial crisis or not - are always well kept, immaculately groomed and dressed. There is no such thing as the distressed look here. They always make me feel sloppy.
4. Once I have worked out what I have worn, I then stand in front of the girls wardrobe to spend hours trying to work out what they will wear.

By the time I have decided, its time for siesta. Something we don't do  but everyone else does. We then go out and it's like visiting a ghost town. Everything in this seaside suburb is shut.

All that effort to make us look presentable - and nobody around to see us. Yes yes, of course my comfort and confidence should come from within,  but ladies please understand, I am having yet another fat, sick of black clothes bad day.

A good friend once helped me resolve this issue. It takes discipline and I swear I will it as she suggested once a week as opposed to whenever I get round to it.

She looks up the weather forecast for the week. She then plans what she is going to wear for each day. She creates a back up outfit just in case she is not in the mood for the outfit she originally selected. It works.

So, am logging off and instead of selecting something to wear, I will prepare my plan for the rest of the week. It's close to siesta now anyhow - so pointless even thinking about getting dressed. All this typing and thinking is tiring. I may need a lie down.

This blog is an attempt to keep up with Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge.
Melodramatic Me

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Mummyfried. Really.

SO, I thought when I read Lisa’s call for a challenge, why not?  I can do it. I manically set about building a blog site, throwing up my stories and making room for more to come. Easy peasy.

I can do it in one night I think. Reminiscent of my university days of pulling an ‘all-nighter’ – the difference, I refused to accept that the children and my insomnia (attention to detail) would cause delay.

I have built websites before, I have consulted to Board Members and Partners regarding blogs and social media. I am a pro, I know what it takes.  

The all-nighter turned into a four night all-nighter. I have spent the last few nights dealing with the baby’s attempts to turn night into day. She thinks I love it when she howls almost all night. Once she is awake, Little Miss wakes up. Little Miss (also known as Little Miss Relevance Deprivation) starts to howl also wanting cuddles and milk.  Somewhere between the two, I have worked on this blogsite.

Sleep deprivation coupled with a four night all-nighter has resulted in ERROR ERROR ERROR.

It took me two hours to work out that the reason why I couldn’t use the URL I had selected is because I had set the blog up incorrectly.

I then realised I had uploaded old drafts, rather than final stories – so typo’s where everywhere and probably still are there. I can’t turn off the American spell check, and am manually changing z’s to s’s.

I couldn’t decide on a template... and am still struggling to amend the blasted links. They look awful, I know.

Then there is my profile. In my sleep deprived state, I still can’t work out how to make the ‘look and feel’ match my blog templates.

I then realised, this is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to take me away from living and playing with Mr. Right and the kids (and let’s not talk about the housework).

Like a foodie that cares more about taste rather than whether the garnish is on the right side, I have thrown what I have together and pray you will be gentle as I work on presentation and detail when baby learns to sleep through the night and after I have had a decent play with my girls and spent some time with Mr. Right. 

I am fried. Well, Mummyfried. Here it is…

This blog is an attempt to keep up with Lisa Lintern's blog a day challenge.
Melodramatic Me

Monday, 13 January 2014

Bad Arse Mummy

I do my best to be a great mummy but there are days that in all honesty, there are some days where I am no fool, I am just treading water. It's on these day's I become Bad Arse Mummy (BAM).

Confession one – The Set Up:

I have a fabulous sense of smell.  It can entertain….

BAM: ‘Did you enjoy that cheeseburger? ‘(really wants to add but doesn’t ‘Any reason why you didn’t bring one home for me?’)

Thoughtless Daddy (TD): ‘What? How do you know? Did I leave the wrapper in my pocket?’

BAM: ‘I can smell it’

It can save embarrassment...

BAM: ‘I suggest you either pop on a bra under that top or take an umbrella. It is going to rain’

Bra -free Saggy Boob Hippy Friend: ‘How do you know?’

BAM : 'I can smell it.’ (Honestly I can).

Sometimes, I turn the skill off. It’s not often that I do but sometimes, just when I need a break which is every day just after a coffee when the crave still hits, even after many many long years that I have quit smoking, I still crave a cigarette. To be precise a Silk Cut, long – out of a pack of ten…(used to be Marlboro Lights but I had a smoking relapse for a week while in Europe and was introduced to nasty nasty equally unhealthy and damaging Silk Cuts). 

So, when I need a break to fantasize about drawing back on a smooth long Silk Cut, I sometimes  ask TD, who in this instance should be called ‘I don’t have a sense of smell and am being set up by heartless BAM (IDHSOSAABSUBHBAM) to change the nappy.

Oh how I feign surprise when poor IDHSOSAABSUBHBD opens the nappy to find shit caked up and in every crevice, fold of fat allover healthy when clean, very kissable bum. Sometimes, I feel guilty and offer to help by holding baby’s feet.  Most times I don’t. I sit back; imagine the sensation of exhaling after a long drag on the fag.

Confession two: Saving on therapy costs. Short and sweet.

I screen calls. I call this managing my mental health for free, without therapy. I am a freak magnet. Put all my friends (and some family members) in one room and as lovely as I think they are, they are to a psychologist - a group of people that represent the possibility of a first class holiday every year for ten years. I need to manage my freaks appropriately. 

Confession three:  Warning - Armed Baby

Lately, I have started to warn people of baby’s bad habit of scratching. I don’t bother apologizing after the event, because I issued a warning when handing her over.

My face bears the brunt of my incompetence. I am often adorned with scratch marks.

Baby holder: ‘Oh, it hurts, you should cut her nails!’

BAM: ‘I know, look at my face’ (but thinks: ‘I told you and if had a heart, you would offer to cut them for me – clearly I CANT DO IT! This is a cry for help!’)

Confession four:  Post Natal Depression (PND) – work it, own it.

When I have decided on a ‘stay at home day’ I don’t bother taking baby out of her one piece sleep suit. I strongly believe my laziness is contributing to saving the environment. One less dirty outfit means one less load of washing.

I also stay in my PJs so I don’t appear selfish. If we have a surprise visit, I pretend we’re having a ‘bad day’. I don’t have PND  (well, I don’t know, I may) but I work the possibility.

Confession five:  Risk taker

When baby is soon to have a bath  and nappy needs changing, I occasionally don’t apply cream. I risk nappy rash. It can’t develop in an hour can it? This recklessness makes me feel alive! I wonder if I risk losing baby for bad parenting??? I hope not.

Confession six: The army drill

I really and I mean genuinely struggle to keep to a routine. I have to write down when I last fed baby so that I can remember to do it again in four hours. I tell people bedtime is at 7 pm, but it is really whenever I can manage to get her to sleep.  Oh and of course, she doesn’t have a pacifier that she is attached to, she has three, one of each end of her cot and one for her mouth. That way if one flies out of the cot, baby can reach out and shove another in her mouth. Trust me, it works..

Confession seven: When dad is away – mummy and baby play

TD sometimes travels for work.  Parenting rules collapse the minute he closes the front door.  

When TD was on his last trip, baby woke at 6 am  I swiftly  moved her to my bed. She promptly fell asleep. We snuggled – it was lovely.  

At 8.26 am she was still asleep. I was torn. Do I snuggle up and sleep OR should I wake her – get her on to some semblance of a routine. According to her routine, it's at 9.30 am. What to do? 

All this worrying made me want to go to the toilet – so I lined the bed and floor with pillows (we have already had one falling off the bed experience count that as confession number eight – I was putting on my face and didn’t see her fall….

Once a champion sprinter, I expertly RAN quietly to the toilet (so not to wake her) – pushed it out, washed my hands and was back within the minute.

I had to weigh up the risks:  risk baby falling out of bed or risk dying of a urinary infection – then who would look after baby badly?

Confession nine:  A balanced diet

Weaning and holidays don’t mix.  So I cheated and gave her yogurt for dinner instead of veg.
She is a fussy eater now and I wonder if that is the cause.I refuse to accept it could be my lousy cooking.

Confession ten:  Rock a bye baby – the challenge

I rock her to sleep to save me and her hours of tears. Apparently I will pay for it later. Bring it on I say. I will deal with that issue – when it arrives.

Confession eleven – Naughty thoughts

TD once said ‘I don’t know why you are so tired and grumpy – so what you have a baby, it’s not like you work’

Since then, I occasionally think about smothering him in his sleep. Particularly when it’s the seventh weekend in a row that he has slept in past 11 am.

And there you have it. Eleven confessions - documented in about ten minutes (while baby has her finger in a power socket – JOKING).