What it Means to be Mummy


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The first word I hear most days is “Mum”, followed by a tender “I love you” or “good morning” or “Do people eat breakfast in Heaven and who lays the eggs for their breakfast because everyone knows there are no chickens in Heaven?”

Before my eyes are even open, before my brain has fully adjusted to the reality of no more sleep, I am reminded that before all else, I am Mum and I have three little people depending on me to fulfil that role unquestioningly.

There are days, of course, that I inwardly groan and silently beg for a break from this relentless responsibility to be their cook, cleaner, stylist, mentor, therapist, nurse, art teacher, entertainer, jailer, enforcer of unfair rules and referee in countless brawls over the middle seat in the car. When I wake up on these tired, uninspired days, I have to dig deep and remember that my children are innocent passengers in this trainwreck of my exhaustion. I have to be mindful always that even if it means regular visits to hide in the bathroom and silently cry for my lost, pre-kid independence, they need a Mum who looks at them with joy in her eyes. On those days, when I lose the battle and scream and yell because I’m not the perfect Mum that I aspire to be in the late, guilt-riddled hours before sleep, I will always take the time to apologise and explain that Mummy is tired and that just like them, I feel grumpy sometimes. I make sure they see that I am fallible and flawed and, more importantly, that I will always own my failures and apologise for hurt feelings.

My kids know that their Mummy is not perfect. They know because I openly (and frequently) point out my mistakes, my failures and my flaws and I fix what I can. They see that I’m a work in progress and I hope that they are learning that mistakes and imperfections are a normal and beautiful part of life. These moments are where we all learn.

My son, on the eve of his ninth birthday said an incredibly poignant thing to me. It filled my heart with contentment and calm because his words reinforced that Darren and I are doing something right when we fail openly in front of our children and then shine a light on our downfalls.

As I tucked him into bed, Little Man said, 

“Mummy, I have decided that this year (now that I am nine) I am going to choose to fail a lot. Do you know why? Because if I only do the things I am good at, I’ll always win but I won’t learn new things. I want to do lots of new things that are a little bit scary and I won’t mind if I fail because every time I fail then I’ll know another new thing about how to do it better next time. Each time I fail, it will make a kind of a step towards success and maybe when I turn ten I’ll be able to do a whole lot of new things. But I won’t be able to do new things if I don’t choose to fail. Know what I mean?”

My Little Man… only nine, yet so wise.

Yes, there are some days when motherhood is hard, so hard I feel desperately overwhelmed. Thank goodness those days are peppered amongst other days – days when I’m woken with butterfly kisses and declarations of love and big brown eyes looking into mine, filled with an awe that says that they are seeing the most beautiful creature this Earth has to offer. Days when my tween squeezes my hand in a silent assurance that she isn’t too big to need me. Days when my kitchen counter is covered with hundreds of pieces of paper, each with a drawing of two girls surrounded by hearts, holding hands and bearing the name tags “Mum” and “Me”. Days when I look across the table at Darren and he looks back at me with a smile and the wordless agreement that we are blessed beyond comprehension.

Every day, all day, I am Mummy.

As they grow, I’m seeing glimpses of Michelle resurfacing, too. Soon enough, I’ll be more Michelle than Mummy as they grow their wings and discover their next chapter. Until then, I’ll take the desperate, crying-in-the-shower days with gratitude because they come hand in hand with fairy wings and potato stamped love letters and three sets of wide-open, unquestioningly loving eyes that regard me – and only me – as Mummy.

What it Means to be Mummy - an essay on motherhood.

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‘Conscious Uncoupling’ is just divorce by another name and Gwyneth Paltrow is just another woman in pain. I may stand alone on this one, but unlike the media, I refuse to ridicule her.

A friend's child was a real life Dennis the Menace and - BOY - did he get one over on my hubby. Five years on and I'm STILL laughing!

A friend’s child was a real life Dennis the Menace and – BOY – did he get one over on my hubby. Five years on and I’m STILL laughing!

 

 

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{GIVEAWAY} The Great Big Birthday Bounce


Last month, Miss M turned eleven and the party planning began in earnest. This was not an easy task because at this age, she judged every party idea as too babyish. We were completely stumped. As though by magic, that day I received an email announcing the grand opening of an exciting new entertainment complex in Perth.

Problem solved!

bounce free jumping revolution

A few weeks later, we celebrated Miss M’s first tween birthday by taking her and her friends to Bounce, Cannington in Cannington, where they flipped and leaped, shot incredible airborne hoops and enjoyed a whole new brand of dodgeball.

It was insanely easy. For the first time in eleven years of parenthood, I did no preparation at all for my child’s party. None. Nada.

The staff at Bounce organised everything so that when we arrived, the kids were taken aside and handed their special grip socks and taken off in groups with enthusiastic party guides who dedicated themselves to the party kids only – relieving this mama’s concerns about broken bones.

Darren and I were so relaxed that we joined in an jumped, too, as did Little Man and Baby G. Let me tell you, jumping on a web of interconnected trampolines for an hour may be fun for the kids but EHRMEGERD it is a blast for adults! Don’t even get me started on the squillion calories burned and the burning thighs the next day…

 

Airborne dodgeball - even grown-ups can join in.

Airborne dodgeball – even grown-ups can join in.

Bounce is so well managed, with a lot of qualified staff all over the place making sure everyone is jumping safely, that there was absolutely no stress about safety.

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After the jumping time was up, our party guides gathered the gaggle of giggling, bedraggled (and very sweaty) girls and took them to the party room. I was hugely impressed that they had set up a spacious room with colourful table settings, beautiful food and a choice of drinks for the girls to enjoy. This was all organised via phone before hand and I can vouch for the choices, combinations and flexibility their menu offered. It couldn’t have been an easier or more pleasant experience.

They even provided an ice-cream birthday cake and when it was finished, they had no problem bringing out a second one, free of charge.

I didn’t have to think about a thing (doubly excellent as a mum with ADHD) which make the whole process absolutely fantastic. The kids shoes had been stored in a box and delivered to the party room for the girls. The gifts were stored safely, too. This was a huge help because I didn’t have to worry about kids disappearing out of sight.

Judging from the grins, I’d say this party was a massive success and I’d recommend Bounce, Cannington without hesitation.

Of course, I would never tell you about this dream of a place without offering a little something special! I’ll be giving away a double pass to Bounce to one of you lovelies. To enter, simply comment below and LIKE the blog on facebook.

Giveaway applies only to readers in Perth, Western Australia.

Disclaimer: Bounce, Cannington provided the birthday party free of charge, however the enthusiastic opinion expressed in this post is entirely my own.

The Tween Parent’s Tug-o-War


Tween Parents Tug-o-war

Miss M is officially a tween. At eleven, she is beginning to show little hints of the woman she will one day be. Time has chiseled away at her face and is, startlingly quickly, revealing beautiful, angular cheekbones where chubby cheeks once were. Without me realising, she has grown in stature and is nearly as tall as me and only a shoe size away from becoming a sharing buddy. When she tries on my heels, she no longer totters around, comically playing at being a grown-up. My breath catches in my throat as I watch her instead, fitting almost convincingly into something that was once no more than a dress-up. Read the rest of this entry

Mornings With Kids Are No Fairy Tale.


       

Mornings With Kids Are No Fairy Tale

This morning, I woke up half an hour early, organised breakfasts, made school lunches and folded laundry. Feeling unusually ahead of my game and positive about the day ahead, I went to wake the kids. Mary Poppins-like, I woke the kids with smiles and kisses (everything short of scampering animated squirrels, I kid you not).

They, in turn took a hundred years (not exaggerating, this is totally accurate) to do every. tiny. task. Read the rest of this entry

10 Ways to Empower Our Kids Against Predators


Daniel Morcombe murderer Brett Cowan

The past week, for us Australians, has been traumatic. We’ve been glued to our TVs as we’ve watched the final days of the Brett Peter Cowan trial. We’ve cried for the Morcombe family as they’ve had to face the monster who murdered their young son, Daniel, in court day after day.

This monster, Brett Cowan, showed not a shred of remorse for ripping away the life of thirteen year old Daniel Morcombe to satisfy his own sick pleasures. I won’t go into my anger at the justice system that released Brett Cowen twice after brutally raping two other little boys. One of those boys, Timothy Nicholls – only seven years old when he was abducted and raped repeatedly and so brutally that he almost died, says Brett Cowan took his life that day. For that crime, Brett Peter Cowan was sentenced to a hideously inadequate seven years in jail and was set free.

I have chosen not to rail against this inept system here, however, because that’s a post that won’t achieve anything more than fuelling more anger and pain. What I will do is, in the small way I can, attempt to help other parents to arm their children against the sick predators, like Brett Peter Cowan, in our world. That way, something positive might come of the horror that Timothy Nicholls, Daniel Morcombe and countless other children have endured at the hands of these sick pedophiles.

After much research, I’d like to share with you these 10 ways to empower our children:

1. Don’t force your child to hug sweet Aunt Bertha.

Why? we need to teach our children to trust their instincts – to listen to that inner voice that tells them that it doesn’t feel nice to be touched sometimes. Let them know that you back them up, even if it hurts the other person’s feelings. Chances are, Great Aunt Bertha isn’t a pedophile – but the lesson here is that they are allowed to choose who touches them and how they are touched. They need to know that they, and only they, are the boss of their bodies. They need to know, one hundred percent, that they have their parents’ backing to say “no”.

2. Teach your children to say NO.

Of course, our kids should have a healthy respect for authority, but they should also understand that that respect should never be at the expense of their own self-respect. Teach your kids to feel comfortable saying “no” if an authority figure asks them to do something that they are uncomfortable doing. Allow them the experience of listening to their instincts, acting on them and being supported. If they know they can say “no” and that their parents will support them and listen to them, they are less likely to be targeted. Pedophiles target children who fear authority and lack confidence to speak out.

Read the rest of this entry

37 Lessons From the Internet


       

The internet is an incredible resource for learning. Also for watching wedding flash mobs and cats falling over. Here’s what the internet taught me this week:

Oh, the confusion!

Oh, the confusion!

If you liked this, please click the thumbs-up button at the bottom of this post. I’d really love to hear your comments, so please don’t be shy (comments make me do a happy dance).

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Facebook recently announced it’s going to make fan pages
(including this blog) PAY if we want our fans to read what we post.
That’s not something bloggers like me can do.
So if you want to know when I post, please subscribe to my blog, below.
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BUY THIS BOOK.

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