The penny has dropped for me.

It happened last week; the week that saw this blog turn two – a blog that was spawned from the chasm of questions I had about myself and the world I was navigating through with my two daughters. At risk of sounding like a colossal cliché, it was, in fact, my phase as a mother that really drove the creation of the blog…I was starting to lose myself in the label and rubber stamp that is, ‘mother’.
The intention was to engage with others and make some sense of the madness; to dig down to the dark and selfish root system our species seems to be drawing its inspiration from, in an attempt to unpack the question: How did we get to this toxic point in time?
An online discussion with radical feminist, Sister Trinity, saw me reach a pinnacle in my thinking. 

The problem is gender; more specifically gender roles and labels.

Before I delve deeper into that nugget, let me explain the angle from which I am coming.
I’m currently engaging in an intensive workshop with my daughters these holidays, teaching them to be smart about the actions they take. From as simple as how to hang a wet towel out to dry, to more complex scenarios – basically everything, really.
I’m teaching them to think of the big picture. Think and be smart; unlock some ingenuity. Narrow the problem down to its core and then take action that’s intelligent. The big picture has to include their fellow human beings (from a starting point of kindness) and therefore actions must cater to others’ rights. It all starts in the home in how we deal with each other and extends out. I am also participating in this little workshop I’ve concocted with the girls.

The A-Ha moment
Up until last week I systematically accepted that men and women had certain ‘characteristics’. Sister Trinity’s words to me, however, finally ignited a long-awaited burst of clarity which resonated succinctly to me:

“There is no ‘female mind’  – sex is physical.
Our bodies shouldn’t define who we are IN ANY WAY.
This is what feminism fights (should fight) for.
The idea that we are born with essentially ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’ personalities – not just male and female bodies – is deeply offensive; since if you look at what ‘femininity’ stands for, it’s clear patriarchy has assigned the inferior and submissive caretaker role to us.”

And we know it’s correct because we know we don’t teach  according to ‘gendered’ brains. I am not altering what I’m teaching my daughters (nor in my classroom) due to whether they are male or female – I’m just teaching. As do you.


I still think that nature (which always pushes for procreation) draws man and woman together, but that should be it. Everything else is a construct. An ever-shrinking label of conformity. Everything.

If you’re shaking your head and thinking (as I do at times),  ‘But I AM this way through my choice’, I would simply ask you to just ponder how much has really been your choice? It’s not black and white, I know, but it deserves thought. This is not the moment for the discussion of ‘choice’ but we human beings have to agree that we have little choice in our lives – planet wide – when you critically reflect on it…except on how to spend your money, of course.

Nature v Nurture? I think the majority of it, is nurtured.
If life is a complete construct and you’ve been told, since birth, how each gender should behave and more importantly, what it should strive for in life (especially in the capitalist-dripping ‘western world’), then it only stands to reason that gender IS the root of many of the serious conundrums we’re facing today in how we relate and interact – stretching back through a very long and entrenched system. I once heard, on a documentary about genes and how they influence behaviour, that ‘Nature loads the gun and Nurture pulls the trigger.’

To explore even further, my birthday question to you is:

Question #196: What IS a woman?

Really think about this.

Pretty? Dumb? Sexy? Hairless? Mother? Nurturer? Weak? Desperate? Emotional (crying)? Whore? Wants to get married to a man and have babies? Bitch? Can’t make her own money so has to marry a man? Credit card addict? Shopping addict? Likes pink? Squeals if she sees a mouse? Likes housework? Nag? Knows how to get stains out? Multi-tasker?


Whatever you add, these are all simply labels (what gender roles basically are) and countless women will vehemently disagree with being pigeon-holed into these labels because we know that what’s inside us is unique and that the only thing women and girls have in common (in the big scheme of things) is a female reproductive system (functioning or not). All other organs – legs, lungs, heart, brain – the same.

For that matter, what is a man?
The boss? Bread winner? Player? Intelligent? The Man?  Powerful? Ruler? Strong? Stupid? Emotional (violent)? Rapist? Detached emotionally? Hates the idea of being ‘tied down’? Under the thumb?  Needs a man cave? Handyman? Car hoon? Ejaculation obsessed? Blue wearer? Sports obsessed? Violent video games obsessed? Dickhead? Useless? Pants only?
Same goes here, as above. All constructed labels. The difference is that males benefit greatly from this list in terms of action but suffer terribly in terms of how they get to express (which is very, very limited).

I'm Glad 8

The world we have designed is ludicrous. We have become stupid.
We have allowed this design/system to nurture an obsession with greed and to revolve around giving the penis full privilege in seeking out what it needs to gain satisfaction. Unfortunately it’s insatiable and it’s mainly women (and ever more girls) that they seek.

Whilst the subservient females fulfil their destinies as mothers and housekeepers, they are juggling all the injustices and inequalities that are thrown their way – again only due to their biology.

In short, we are suffocating the true potential of what we can achieve – for all – as a species.

This stagnant construct can change through how we raise our children. To quote Yoda, we have to ‘unlearn what we have learned‘ and give our children a basis that teaches that we all have unique and amazing bodies that provide natural functions and miracles, but it is our mind that can do, be and express itself in whichever way it wants – as long as the basic rights that one expects for oneself, are afforded to the rest.

To practise humanity.

We need to be smart about this.

Deep Breath.


The language we use.

June 10, 2013

My thoughts on how we speak about women came last year when I read a response Tina Fey wrote to a comment targeting her on the Net.

Before you read her succinct response, let me say that I think Tina is an awesomely, fantastic feminist (teeny crush along with Amy Poehler) using humour to point out the glaringly obvious, like the following:


I took pure delight in the way Tina composed her rebuttal to an unimpressed fan of her on Saturday Night Live – but I have to admit that the PS left me a tad disappointed:

Dear Internet

 Question #165: Why is it the mother who cops it in the end? 

As much as this world appears to put ‘mother’ on a pedestal – even argue that her prime location is at home, due to her very, very, imperative importance – it leaves me perplexed that mothers are the first to land the insult.


And it’s everywhere.

In some cases, merely uttering the words, “Your mother…” is enough to send (predominantly men) into a frenzied defence of their poor ma.

On further pondering, I realised something that even I was partaking in.

Not only have I said, Son of a Bitch, countless times – in Uruguay, my country of birth, we use a VERY common phrase – for both sexes:

Son of a Whore, as well as Daughter of a Whore.

Ironically, Tina Fey stated the following – which is bloody fantastic and spot on – and yet she did the exact opposite in her PS sentence:


Most of us are guilty of incorporating women in our insults – but why?

Why isn’t it son of a…what? Dickhead? Prick? Bastard? Well, the last one is not wholly connected to men.

The fact of the matter is that there aren’t really harsh and hurtful equivalent terms for males, compared to what females are called.
Logical really, seeing as females – especially mothers – are the tyrannous of the world, after all.

I found the following chart (the site I found it on, didn’t cite its origin):


As much as this is looking at terms relating to being sexually active, many of the negative phrases for women, spill over into day to day insults: slut – whore – bitch…
There are two words missing (actually, I’m sure many more exist) that I hear used often about women:

‘Ganga’ – a girl who likes a gang of men to please have sex with her (aka gang bang).
I’ve heard this ridiculous term said by teens – predominantly girls speaking of fellow girls. A disgrace.

‘C*nt’ – the harshest term to call anyone and a piece of the female anatomy.


How comforting it is; to know that our manner of insulting pits all its energy on women and mothers.

Women included. Lots of women.
Including me…but not any more.

Will you join me?

I leave you with the following:

“He actively maintains the power of naming through force and he justifies force through the power of naming. The world is his because he has named everything in it, including her. She uses this language against herself because it cannot be used any other way.”

~ Andrea Dworkin ‘Pornography: Men Possessing Women’

Deep breath.


Mothers’ Day – #2

May 12, 2013

A stirring day, Mothers’ Day.


From what I read, see and feel – it is a day where mothers around the world are held in the highest esteem.

Earth Mother.




All these beautiful, soulful and necessary traits that humankind relies on – and they’re attached to us. Women.

The role of nurturer is entrenched into the fabric of our existence and that responsibility largely tips toward us; falling into our arms.


Why trust women with this tremendous role?

I believe it’s because we are needed for this. For balance.

It’s a momentous, paramount and brilliant thing.

It also benefits everyone.

Unfortunately, this is where I feel we hit the snag:

Question #158: If mothers are so revered, then why is there so much violence and persecution against them – all around the world – in endlessly different ways?

Just something to ponder.

We must evolve and save Mother.

Save women.

So today, I salute you ALL – mothers, women and girls!

Last year, my first Mothers’ Day post was a little self-centred in that I was only looking at the life of a mother and woman from my western armchair – but today, I want to recognise the great rainbow of mothers, including those who are forgotten, or worse, ignored.

You’re all heroes of strength and the pillars of this world.

To single mothers (extra big hug to you) – I can’t imagine what it must feel like to do this alone and sometimes with little help – whether monetary, emotionally or both.

To those mums, like me, who work and juggle mum duties – I know how hard it can be sometimes.

To mums who don’t work and juggle mum duties – I know how hard it can be sometimes.

To those who have lost their sweet babes – whether a lost pregnancy or child.
Unimaginable. Much love to you.

To those who have lost their own mothers – xxx

Finally, to the heart-sinking number of women around the world:

  • who are looking for food for their child to eat
  • who are protecting their children from bullets and bombs
  • who have been trafficked
  • who suffer from physical violence on a daily basis
  • who are risking everything to have a life lived without fear and come by boat:

I think of you every day. Not just today.

Today my husband told me to go to my laptop and see what my present is. I didn’t ask him for anything, so I excitedly wondered. This is what I saw:


I cried.
It was the most perfect gift.

So Happy Mothers’ Day!
Much love to you all – especially you, mamá – you’re all remarkable.

 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

Bringing up daughters.

January 11, 2013

The following article has resonated with me deeply.

It’s fantastic.

I connected with this piece as a mother, as a mother of daughters, as a teacher of young women and as a girl who grew up with the same social ideals – just not as intense as they are now.

As a mum, I’ve often felt this and written about it:

Most girls lack a grasp of basic feminism to help them understand that many of their experiences are the result of growing up in a profoundly unequal world, and therefore not their own fault. Parents can only do so much.

I’ve heard the cliché often – that if they’ve good morals at home, the kids will be right.
Well, that would mean that my girls will be great – but am I enough against the ever-infiltrating, predatory world around them?

As a teacher I have always said the following to my teen students:

And I see how so many young women still assume that their needs come behind those of the boys they form relationships with, absorbing the message that they are lucky to have been chosen at all, when they are the ones who should be doing the choosing.

Young women and teenage girls have lost that power – it’s been given away and only women can get it back – the right to choose. They seem quite chuffed with merely being chosen and then work really hard to maintain being the chosen one.

I know. I’ve been there many times before.

Read this article. See if there are any entrenched ideals that can be shifted within you.

Imagine the profound effect on the world, if we just let our daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends, aunts and grandmothers be their true selves.
One that doesn’t just revolve around looks and sex – or more to the point nowadays:

Looking sexy (no age restrictions).

The perils and pitfalls of bringing up daughters

Question #133: What passions do the women/girls in your life have?

Ask them. Then encourage them.

Deep Breath.



PS The book Raising Girls by Steve Buddulph looks pretty awesome.

“Raising Girls is a beautiful new book written as a response to the crisis in the mental health of girls. Girls are under assault from an exploitive, harsh culture, and need our help to become stronger and freer.  This book is a guidebook for your own daughter at every age, and a call to arms in the wider culture.  ITS EASY TO READ, HAS MANY POWERFUL STORIES, AND COVERS BABYHOOD RIGHT THROUGH TO ADULTHOOD.”


I’m going to get one.

Our bad judgement.

September 22, 2012

If you’ve ever passed judgement on a mum – because of her child’s actions…

(I’d say that about covers everyone – including me, of course), then read the following article:

Click here.

It’s true, isn’t it?

Just another way in which both genders pick on women – ESPECIALLY by other women.


It’s the only way.

Big kiss.


A few months back I wrote a post about the balance (or lack thereof) in our lives called – The strong, but stretched, women around me.

Recently I went through – and to some degree, am still going through – a very rough patch with myself, especially in regards to my daughters.

A lot of tiredness from work – both in my place of employment and at home – coupled with less patience and a shorter fuse, meant that things weren’t good.

And the GUILT.

Every time I faltered, I saw any efforts made to change things around (because it had to start with me), go down the toilet.

But my mind is just SO. FULL. It is a rare moment where there isn’t something to organise…coordinate…remind…do

…and from talking to friends of mine, of both sexes, there are a lot who are struggling for some meaning to it all because of how hard it seems to be at times.

In these more desperate moments, I have found myself stepping back and looking at how our society is structured and wondering how (or if) it’s contributing to all this.

Our society is pretty archaic. It hasn’t evolved much.

We have, in essence, been living the same sort of life for decades and besides some changes here and there – like there being more women in the workforce now – we are inherently still chasing the same sort of dream or blueprint to ‘happiness’ as past generations – go to school, get a job, buy a car, buy some type of housing, get married, have kids…and start all over again.

Which lends itself to make us question why we keep repeating the same ‘type’ of life, time and time again.

Even our school system, based on the 50s, hasn’t changed. In a YouTube video called Did You Know?, it states that:

“The Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010…did not exist in 2004. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t exist yet…using technologies that haven’t been invented…in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.”

It’s gobsmacking, when you think about how technology, jobs and skills are growing at the speed of light – while we obsess about whether our child will ever be a success if they struggle with English, Maths and Science. Watch this following clip about our education system – it will blow you away:

So we’re in a circular, Groundhog Day, style of life that we pretty much pass on to our kids, with a few tweeks here and there.

Question #64: Is it possible to gain the right balance for both women and men in the important areas of our lives?

The following article: A Million Women Are Reading This, is absolutely fantastic!

I think it challenges us to think about the issues that affect all men and women, and whether it’s possible to change for the better – a change that matches the world we currently live in, not one from decades ago, when the decisions of ‘how life should be’ were made.

I’ve touched on a lot of the issues in this article, throughout my posts.

What do you think?

Deep Breath.



May 20, 2012

Now here’s another post that has been hard to write. It’s funny that when I discuss people I know and love, it becomes difficult to ensure I get it right – to respect them.

I feel a little ashamed about my last post – carrying on about the difficulties of motherhood – when there are SOOO many women who would give anything and everything (and financially, they generally do) to be able to have a baby.

A very close and dear friend of mine, is in a horrible, heart-wrenching, never-ending roundabout – desperately trying to fall pregnant and it’s getting towards the end of ‘trying’ through IVF…and she’s so very, very sad.

She used the word barren.

It’s such a confronting word – like a slap – and it pained me to hear her say it about herself, with such anguish. I didn’t know how to console her. How could I? When I know that if I were in her place, I’d be devastated…just like she is.

My friend is not someone who ‘left it too late’ – although she is 40+ – she just met the perfect, love of her life in her mid-30s. They are a beautiful couple who are so blessed to have found each other; it’s such a cruel irony that they seem unable to conceive and take that natural next step.

In her place, I’d be wallowing in a murky sea of, “Why?” As she put it, on paper everything looks right – but it just isn’t happening and in this day and age of advanced technology – they can’t tell her why.

To add salt to the wound – she is friends with a couple (two males) who have two children, through surrogacy. They are close and my friend is not only delighted for them but is also God Mother to one of the children – but the surrogacy door is closed for her because here in NSW, it’s a criminal act (as of last November) to pay someone to have your child:

“It will impose penalties of two years’ jail, a $110,000 fine, or both on parents who pay for a surrogate here or abroad to carry their child.” *

…unless my friend moves to Victoria – where it’s legal. So we are a divided nation on the topic of surrogacy, it seems.

And what does the future hold for women in this situation? Well, they see a bleak and lonely one – one where they can’t pass on their lessons on life to their child, wrapped in unconditional love. Worse still, they wonder whether they’ll be enough for their partner – not being able to ‘give’ them a child.

Question #45: Are there any of you out there who can bestow some wisdom and support on this matter?

I’ve known quite a few women throughout my life, who have found pregnancy – such a natural and seemingly easy thing to do – skip past them. They’ve had to go through the pain of seeing their period arrive, over and over again, and get that sinking feeling – a hole where hope was bubbling only a moment ago. I felt that stomach plummet sensation twice – once before each one of my girls decided to join me. Each time I thought, “Oh no.”

But if I multiply those two nothing moments in my life, by the countless times these women see their period arrive, before they decide to try IVF and suffer egg extractions, needles, pills…and STILL see their period arrive…well, I can’t know what sort of grief that brings – but I did hear it in my friend’s voice.

It’s an understatement to say that I feel fickle and ungrateful, complaining about my children…simply being children. I know that many women would swap with me in a heartbeat.

My heart goes out to all the women who experience these soul-destroying months.

… and I send out my deepest love to you, dear friend.

Deep Breath.



Mothers’ Day.

May 13, 2012

Here’s to you.

Here’s to Us.

To the lives and households we run;

To the families we are raising – teaching – guiding…

…the same families who drive us insane!

1. FOOD – We think about what everyone will eat – all. the. time.

  • What needs to be done:  *Write shopping list, *Do shopping, *Put away shopping, *Cook, *Bear 2.7 questions an hour from children about what they can eat, *Organise food for meals and snacks whenever outside the home…etc.

2. APPEARANCES – We worry about the state of our family’s clothing and general grooming issues.

  • What needs to be done: * Remind children to put dirty clothes IN the basket *Soak clothes, *Wash clothes, *Hang clothes, *Bring in clothes off the line, *Iron clothes, *Take clothes to corresponding rooms, *Go shopping for clothes, *Shower/Bath routines, *Hair Brushing, *Finger and Toe nail appearances…etc.

3. CHILDREN – 24/7.

  • What needs to be done: *Remember…EVERYTHING, *Continually Repeat All Instructions/Statements…over and over again, *School Matters – Sign notes + know what days Library Day/Sports’ Uniform Day fall on, *Coordinate dropping off and picking up from Day Care/School, *Organise Holiday activities and playdates *Doctors’ appointments, *Sickness…etc. etc. etc.

4. BED-TIME ROUTINE – Yes, it’s a dot point on its own!

  • What needs to be done: *Remind children of their expected routine – with 5 minute reminders, *Be prepared to be asked to listen to something REALLY important, at this time; every night – it goes something like this, “Muuuum?” “What.” “Can I tell you something?” “Go to bed.” “Pleeaaasse?” “What.” “Uuuuummm….”, *Have about an average of three things each child has ‘forgotten’ to do, that comes to mind at this time of the night…etc.  ._.

5. LOVE LIFE – We worry about our relationships with our partners.

  • What needs to be done: *Well, every relationship is different – you know what you do.

6. WORK – A juggling and balancing act.

  • What needs to be done: *Aaah…Juggle and Balance – whether full-time, part-time, job-sharing, casual, shift-work  – it’s another complicated job.

7. TIME FOR YOU – Few and far between.

  • What needs to be done: *Find time! Really. Get out and have time away from it all – even for a little while…I’ll babysit for you!

8. ETC. ETC. ETC. – Everything Else.

For all these areas, there is help – some mothers get more; some less – but everything is ALWAYS a part of a mum’s thoughts.

And the quality that weaves through all of us is:


I think what we do as mothers is simply gob-smacking.

It’s the toughest gig there is – but when those windows of sun and wonderfulness bathe us…well, we understand the why; enough to keep going onwards.

I only hear stories of what’s ahead and it sounds like this ride never eases up – bring it, I say!

I salute you all.

Mothers of all ages.

All my Love.


This post is dedicated to my mum. Un beso grande, Mamá.


May 6, 2012

Thank you for the supportive comments that I’ve received so far about my sometimes ‘hostile’ environment at home. I take some comfort in knowing that it’s normal for siblings to go at each other, over everything – especially when they’re in the mood for it…but there’s one important thing I forgot to add to the last post – which I think I alluded to, but didn’t quite spell out.

And that is that I hate the person I become when they finally tip me over – and that it’s the ‘mother’ they see more often. I worry that with the frequency in which I find myself refereeing, setting boundaries and/or disciplining, will create (is creating) a negative experience for all three of us.

Them – because they’ll see me as continually being unhappy with them and in a bad mood;

Me – finding myself not wanting to be around them. I hate having that feeling…but I shamefully feel it.

My youngest now mirrors the way I act when I lose control – she shouts and screams so loudly, you’d think she was being attacked. But as head-strong as she is, she learned it from me.

I know it has to start with me…but after days of me doing things in the ‘right way’ with them – I get angry when I don’t (think I) see an effort being made by them.

That’s when I feel like a fraud – because my intellectual mind knows what needs to be done, I do it…and then it doesn’t work. My head then spins into…

WHHAAAAATT????…What did you just say to me??…You did WHAT??…

…but then, they’re only kids – so young. I know.

Question #41: Would mothers really sign up for this, if we actually knew what it would be like?

I know the answer to this is ‘YES’…because we would always think that it would be different with our kids.

I talk to my mother often about this and after a few responses of, “I know” from her – I asked her why she had never told me what it was really like to raise kids. Well, the simple truth is, I wouldn’t have listened because my girls are my one and only lifelong dream – come true. Having kids was all I EVER wanted.

Time to take a deep breath…again.


Your wisdom.

May 5, 2012

I just came in from hanging out the washing – on this magnificent day in Sydney. Clouds are starting to come over now – but that sun is yummy, when it pokes through. It’s made a weekly chore a pleasure to do; in that peace and warmth.

The best part is – my children aren’t here.

This is hard for me to write admit because I’m going through a very challenging time with my girls – especially my youngest. She’s 5.

I need your advice.

I never thought motherhood was going to be such a tough gig. I know in my heart that I couldn’t imagine a life without my girls…although on days like today, I cherish not having them around – so I can reboot.

Sometimes I feel like a great mother and I think how lucky I am – and at others, more often than not, I feel a despair and think, “What am I doing?” I hear a lot of mothers really sound like they are having such a positive and wonderful experience with their kids, and I feel like a fraud. Sometimes.

Basically, our home is one of fighting. The majority of the time, it’s the girls with each other but it always trickles down to me. They fight about everything – about who hurt whom, who took what they were playing with, who’s not letting them have a turn – everything. Hubby and I rarely fight – and if we do, it’s not in front of them – so it’s just a battle with each other…and me.

I have alone time with both girls, for about 3 hrs every afternoon. Some of the time, it’s a battle-of-wills with my youngest – who always says, “No” or “Awww?” to just about every instruction or statement I make. Now, I’ve always had a short temper – but I truly believe that I have improved over the years (it takes longer for me to get worked up) because I want to have control over it and model it to the girls.

So, I’m making the best of efforts, to be a better role model – by expressing what I need to, without anger – and positively reward their good behaviour. I do that with a spontaneous show of affection (lots of kisses), tell them I love them, say a, “That’s the way!” when they do a good gesture toward each other…I even took them to see Mirror, Mirror last week, as a treat…

…but on some days, I just reach a stage where I lose my block. It’s always verbal (shouting); we don’t smack – but when I lose it like that, I think it’s just as bad as a smack – just as damaging. I sometimes feel like I have an out-of-body experience, watching my behaviour show my daughters how to deal with tough situations –  in 3D; with Dolby Surround Sound; on an IMAX screen!

On days like these – I feel like it’s all for nothing because of the GIANT leap backwards, we just took – thanks to me.

But it’s incessant – the asking, the asking again – even though the reason was calmly given with the answer, the whingeing – when they know it might not go their way, the debate – loathing sentences that start with, “But you said…”

Let me say, that they don’t get their way – especially if they engage. But that’s the biggest problem – I don’t let up and they don’t let up. Especially my youngest; when she latches on, she’s on tight for the ride…

Every. Time. About. Anything.

It’s exhausting.

I need enlightenment from my sisters – of any age.

Question #40: Are there any wise words to impart?

I saw the name of the image below, The Wisdom Path, and loved it.

…looks like a long trip, doesn’t it?

Deep Breath