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A Thank You Letter to my daughter’s Kindergarten Teacher.


       

A Letter to my Child's Kindergarten Teacher

To my daughter’s Kindy teacher,

How do I begin to thank you for what you’ve done for Baby G this year? 

You welcomed my little girl into your classroom in the beginning of the year with your arms wide open. No booboo wasn’t worth a cuddle and a band-aid and, likewise, no achievement wasn’t worth a mighty celebration. It didn’t matter that the achievement was ‘not crying’ when it was goodbye Mummy time – you recognised the gravity of each and every moment in her year and respected her right to be little for as long as she needed to be. As a result, Baby G dances into your classroom, runs to you for cuddles and declares you to be the prettiest of all fairy princesses. How do I thank you for that?

You start every morning with a song and dance Read the rest of this entry

Damn you, Barbie!


They Call Me Mummy teaches her daughter to see her own beauty

Bonbon Break

This morning, as I battled to tame her deliciously curly brown hair for school, Baby G very sadly uttered,

“Mama, I wish I had long, straight yellow hair and blue eyes.” 

That one sentence halted my world, Matrix like. In the microseconds that followed, I was forced to swallow the bitter pill that was her first yearning to be something other than herself. That one sentence had the potential to become the first brick in the foundation of the hateful self-doubt jail that so many of us women have built and locked ourselves in. That one sentence needed to be faced, head on.

I responded, faking nonchalance, “Tell me, why do you want long, straight, yellow hair and blue eyes?”

She replied (somewhat condescendingly), “Because EVERYONE knows that yellow hair and blue eyes are the prettiest kind.”

As I mentally beat Barbie to smithereens with a meat mallet and cursed Disney for Cinderella and Rapunzel, I dug deep for the right words to say to her.

Read the rest of this entry

Myth of the perfect mother.


This morning, the most beautiful picture found its way on to my Facebook newsfeed. It made me smile. It grounded me. It made me proud to be privileged enough to be called “Mum”. Here it is:

From the 4th Trimester Project - "Tara Maki is my hero of the day. She is ex-military and has overcome a serious eating disorder to grow and nourish and set such a glowing example of beauty for her girls Joselyn (3) and Addie (9 months) — at Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia."

Picture courtesy of The 4th Trimester Bodies Project (http://4thtrimesterbodies.com) – “Tara Maki is my hero of the day. She is ex-military and has overcome a serious eating disorder to grow and nourish and set such a glowing example of beauty for her girls Joselyn (3) and Addie (9 months) — at Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia.”

I was all loved up and happy until I read the horrific caption that went with it:

“This picture and a whole swath of others like it have been removed by Facebook and other social media sites for being vulgar.”

VULGAR.

My blood is boiling over this. It is so very wrong on multiple levels.

This picture is not pornography.

Know what is pornographic? The countless images that Facebook thrusts on to my newsfeed as ‘suggested’ stories – images of emaciated teenage bodies accompanied by information about the diet pills I should be taking/milkshakes I should be drinking to look like them. These images are vulgar in their message that, somehow, I – a 38 year old mother of three – should aim to look like them. Know what else is vulgar? Read the rest of this entry

Enough Mylie!


Visit Bonbon Break today for my thoughts on this Mylie Cyrus debacle.

Visit Bonbon Break today for my thoughts on this Mylie Cyrus debacle.

If you were an alien visiting the Earth and found yourself in a Western country this past week, you’d have learnt the following things about the People Of Earth:

ONE: Miley Cyrus is Very Important and has magic powers. With a few shakes of her rear (accompanied by an unnaturally long extension of her tongue), this young earthling can make poverty, murder and impending war  d i s a p p e a r. Yep – anyone who witnessed Twerkgate was privy to the instantaneous vanishing of the murdered Syrian children, threats of WWIII and… well… anything of actual importance from world news. Poof!

TWO: Twerking is horrible and slutty. HOWEVER, women should be allowed to twerk to their hearts’ content because we own our bodies, so quit judging and back-off. ALTHOUGH, even though we shouldn’t Judge Miley (poor, poor, poor Miley, naive and expressing her rights) she really did behave like the sluttiest slutty slut from Sluttsville and Read the rest of this entry

Imaginary friends, kangaroo scrotums and personal growth.


lanyard copy

I have a confession: I have a slew of imaginary friends.

We may never have met in the flesh (you see, they live in my iPad) but if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year, it’s this:

kindness and compassion don’t need flesh and bone to be felt.
Funny bones can be tickled via keystrokes. 
Friendships can be built out of pixels.

In July, I made the epic (nearly 30 hour) journey to Chicago from Australia for the annual BlogHer ’13 Conference, the biggest blogging conference in the world with close to six thousand attendees from around the globe. I had never met, in the traditional sense of the word, anyone who was going. Friends and family commented that I was so brave, so bold, to be going there alone and wondered how I’d pluck up the courage to walk in and face thousands of strangers. I tried (in vain) to explain that I wasn’t going alone, that I wasn’t going to be facing strangers at all.

Quite the contrary Read the rest of this entry

Is that your baggage?


I couldn’t believe I was finally here. After a whirlwind six weeks of pre-cooking meals, re-organising of karate/dancing/footy schedules and some serious yanking up of my big girl knickers, I was finally standing at the Qantas check-in counter at the airport. Brand-new red conference handbag slung (so fashionably, people were fainting left and right) over my shoulder and my I’m-still-young-and-hip-dude pink camo backpack at my feet, I lugged my Daddy Bear sized suitcase on to the scale.

“Is this luggage yours?”

I looked up and beamed. “All mine.” I declared. The Qantas lady raised an eyebrow quizzically, “Did you pack it all yourself?” The beam grew, “Yep, every square inch of it!” She looked at me funny (What? Never seen a Mum experiencing the unparalleled joy of a whole suitcase all to herself before?) “Ohhh-kay…” Read the rest of this entry

I’m leaving on a jet plane… (or seven.)


BlogHer Voices of the Year committees have selected "You Suck!" to be honored at the 5th annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote.    Out of over 2,000 submissions, the committee has chosen "You Suck!" to be among the 25 Honorees in the Inspiration category.

BlogHer Voices of the Year committees have selected “You Suck!” to be honored at the 5th annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote.
Out of over 2,000 submissions, the committee has chosen “You Suck!” to be among the 25 Honorees in the Inspiration category.

“Congratulations!  Our Voices of the Year committees have selected “You Suck!” to be honored at the 5th annual Voices of the Year Community Keynote!”

This was the opening line in the email that had me shaking like a leaf for an entire day. This letter wasn’t from just any committee – this email was from BlogHer. For some perspective as to why I shook, trembled and – yes – cried, here’s a little introduction to the media giant that is BlogHer (taken from blogher.com):

Today, BlogHer is the largest community of women who blog: 92 million unique visitors per month (March 2013, Nielsen Site Census). Engaged, influential and info-savvy, these women come to BlogHer to seek and share advice, opinions and recommendations. BlogHer’s team works hard to bring you the best and brightest conversations, writers and speakers – online and in person. That’s what we do best.

We host:

  • BlogHer Conferences, the world’s largest conference for women in social media
  • BlogHer Publishing Network, with 3,000 blogs one of the largest and highest quality publishing networks of blogs authored by women
  • BlogHer.com, the Web’s leading guide to the hottest news and trends among women in social media, renowned as a community where women speak their minds on every topic from politics to parenting in an atmosphere of integrity and respect

BlogHer is run by its three co-founders and a team of 50+ employees via offices in New York and Silicon Valley. We are proud to have venture backing from Venrock, Comcast Interactive Capital, and Azure Capital Partners.

Now, do you see why I was reaching for a paper bag? Hyperventilating was a natural reaction, no?

When I phoned Darren to tell him this gargantuan news, his reaction was instantaneous: “You are going.”

Just like that.

Not for a second did he hesitate. Never mind the fact that we have three kids who I have never left for longer than a couple of days, who will miss me and who he will have to take care of single-handedly. Never mind the fact that this is – by far – the busiest time of year at work for him. Never mind the insane costs involved (seven flights, BlogHer ’13 conference fees, hotels…).

Of course, his generosity of spirit made me cry even more and I’ve been a jittery, excited, overwhelmed, hysterically happy, crazy-busy raving lunatic ever since. The feeling of validation for my work is massive, the confirmation that I really should be doing what I’m doing has been solidified and I am so ridiculously grateful to be in a position to follow this thrilling path.

This adventure is going to be epic and I can’t wait.

I’m flying to Chicago to attend my first-ever BlogHer conference  in three weeks. I will be meeting with some of the most dynamic women in the world and connecting in person with a multitude of women I’ve come to know as close friends via Twitter, Facebook, Google +, Skype and through their blogs. I’m rooming with a really close friend…whom I haven’t ever met in person. Will these friendships we as dynamic in person as they are via keyboards? Will it all be weird and awkward? No idea, but BOY and I excited to find out.

Any advice for this little fish, off to swim in the big pond? I’m a firm believer in ‘fake it  until you make it’, so I’ll be smiling, networking and learning at an exponential rate, all the while tottering precariously in my first pair of big blogger shoes.

Please contact me at theycallmemummy@gmail.com if you’re interested in sponsoring me or advertising on theycallmemummy.com.

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You may also want to read:

Look at that FAT lady!


This week, I was in a supermarket with Baby G and she  innocently pointed (index finger and all) and loudly exclaimed, “Look at that fat lady!” Read the rest of this entry

The Crips vs The Bloods (Sibling Warfare Ain’t Pretty)


There is this feature that comes fitted in every family car. It’s on the back seat and only children can see it. It divides the back seat and comes with strict rules that must be adhered to at all times. It is known as The Invisible Line. If a child, accidentally even, crosses the The Invisible Line, it’s on, baby. We’re talking full-scale, all-out war.

If you have children – in fact if you ever were a child – this line, invisible as it may be, is real. It is not to be messed with. Ever. Read the rest of this entry

I’m being bullied.


There’s this girl I know. She hates me. She watches my life with avid fascination…every little thing I do. Mostly, I’m able to avoid her, but every now and again, she finds me.

Yesterday, I was having one of ‘those’ days. You know the kind – when life seems too much and nothing goes according to plan? I was feeling like a failure because other people seem to manage the juggle so well and I was just.not.managing. Well, I bumped into The Girl. She looked at me and smirked. She looked at my disheveled appearance and her satisfaction was palpable.

Without a care in the world, she said, “You’re pathetic. Your husband deserves better. Your kids deserve better. You are a failure, Michelle.” Just like that.

Read the rest of this entry

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