Happy Fathers’ Day!

September 2, 2012

It’s Fathers’ Day today in Australia – I’m not sure about whether it’s the same in other nations – but I want to give a huge and heartfelt ‘Woooo Hoooo!’ to all the great men – especially dads – who are fighting the good fight.

Men who simply want a better world for both their daughters AND sons.

Men who will guide and nurture, but most importantly model the fantastic virtues that men carry.

As I’ve always said – in this world that is thirsty for balance – we NEED men to be true men of character and sit side by side with the qualities women bring to the table – and raise our children.

So a toast to you all today!

I hope you all have a wonderful Fathers’ Day – full of love, family…and not too many pairs of socks and ties! Hahaha!

Love, Paula

x

The Seven Deadly Sins.

August 5, 2012

Question #79: Is our media, and in turn reality, teaching our kids that the only way to ‘succeed’, is by feeding our Deadly Sins?

I look around and I feel surrounded – like I’m in the middle of an old-fashioned, cowboy-style ambush.

* Greed * Lust * Wrath * Sloth * Gluttony * Envy * Pride – transgressions that I read are ‘fatal to spiritual progress’.

They’re everywhere.

WHY?

Yes, they’ve always been around. Of course. The Deadly Sins weren’t written a few years ago in a boardroom – they’re ancient.

I’ve always seen them as a warning – that to indulge in them would lead to chaos. Hell on Earth.

I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

But…

There is one society that is yielding to them more than others…and it’s our capitalist one.

While the majority of the planet wallows in poverty/war/despair of some sort (due to their rulers participating in some Deadly tastes of their own) – we basically live in a luxury that’s unfathomable and unattainable to them.

You’d think we’d be satisfied, wouldn’t you? And yet…according to studies, we are the most affluent we’ve ever been in history – but the most depressed.

Doesn’t this ring any alarm bells?

Our predominant drive? To make money.

Am I saying we shouldn’t? Absolutely not! I could always do with a little more – couldn’t we all? It IS the world we live in – we need it to survive here.

But at what price?

Our society’s hunger for more of everything and the latest of that, is giving me the uneasy feeling that we are starting to flirt with danger.

Not including the majority of ‘have-nots’ equally inhabiting this planet – we are spoilt. And we are few, in comparison to the big picture.

Yet we consume at a pace that is starting to become insatiable and is being bred into this generation of children and young adults.

So as the ‘line to cross’ has to move further behind to get an ‘edge’ on consumption – how is it done today?

By tapping into the taboo, the naughty, the violent, the lazy, the greedy, the depraved…then market it and SELL!

So, yes, I’m starting to feel boxed in by our media and how it’s becoming the teat from which our society suckles – predominantly a pornographic one.

The frustrating part is that I know that there are many, many of you who can see how things are travelling down a soul-less path, as I do; who are doing the very best they can with their children and share my frustration…

…but we’re obviously not enough. We are in the minority.

I can only look at the evidence before my eyes:

1. What I’m seeing in my daily life through (predominantly, but not exclusive to) TV and its ads, Internet, Magazines etc. etc. etc.

2. The choices our youth are making through their behaviour and appearance. Choices that make me question: Where are their parents in this equation?

Today I saw something that chilled me: A book being sold by Amazon (but has since been removed) giving a world guide to sex laws called,

Age of Consent: A Sex Tourists’ Guide

It claims:

“In some countries it is even illegal to have sex outside of marriage, with severe consequences if you are caught doing so! On the flip side, there are many countries on this planet where the age of consent is as low as 12 or 13…whilst one country has no age limit whatsoever! Before travelling, whether you are going as a backpacker, for business purposes, or as a sex tourist, you need to invest in this comprehensive guide to the age of consent laws in every country in the world! It will keep your fun legal!…This $3.49 will keep you out of jail, possibly the most important few dollars that any red blooded testosterone pumped traveller will spend.”

This utterly sickens me – because what I keep questioning is how did something as disgusting as this get printed in the first place? HOW?

Money.

Now, I won’t bore you with a list of how consumption is dancing with the Seven Deadly Sins – but it feels like we’re going down a slippery slope and picking up speed.

There is too much evidence.

How do we slow down this beast/machine, that’s bearing down on us?

Simple. Don’t buy into it!

Those Sins are in all of us – we all feel them at one stage or another…I know I ceratinly have…

Question #80: So why are we allowing them to take over?

The images throughout the post, are of the Seven Deadly Sins from a 2008 ImageFX competition. They uniquely connected with me – I can easily see how these are very present in our lives. The curious thing, however, is that when I looked for images on the Net – they predominantly featured women only. Interesting.

Deep Breath.

x

Lily Munroe – a friend I have made through this blog (and has a like-minded blog herself: freedomfrompornculture) – found the following, A-MAZ-ING image, after reading my last post:

Question #76: Do you think this is what’s happening?

I do…
and I’m finding myself getting a little alarmed.

Deep Breath.

x

I have a two-parter today. Women need to see this  – but I really need to get some thoughts from the guys’ end of the fence. Unfortunately, what I’d really like, is to hear some young men’s perspectives, but I doubt they read this blog – so, seeing as you older lads know what’s going on inside a male’s mind, I’d love your opinion AND input as to how we can change things around.

Firstly there is a short going around, similar to Miss Representation, but instead looking at how the sexualisation of the current culture, is developing our future men:

There’s a question in the piece that asks:

“So where do guys get the idea that women are play things, eye candy and sexual objects for our enjoyment?”

As the question is being asked, a scene from a movie is shown, where a stream of attractive women walk in – dressed in lingerie – who then all bend over in front of a male who’s stunned, while the other, Adam Sandler, directs the girls to do it.

So degrading. As a woman, it’s hard to watch.

“The answer is, quite honestly, everywhere.” – they say.

True. It is. It’s at saturation point.

BUT!..and this is where I repeat that I’m not anti-male – you can’t have a stream of women bending over…WITHOUT WOMEN. Without their consent.

So, if our girls are lining up to pander to this heterosexual male fantasy (porn) behaviour and look:

Question #69: What are we, as a society, doing to instigate this?

Can it be changed? Pulled back a notch? Can we (you) stand up and do something to help gain some control of this spiralling problem?

OK – Part two.

A 20-something year old guy started a ‘bed of shame’ idea on Twitter, getting guys to take photos of themselves next to the woman they’ve spent the night with. Click here for article. It was so popular over the weekend – inundated with photos –  that he’s doing it again. Filth.

Question #70: What do men think about the accessibility and ease guys have, to be able to do this to women?

I know what I think about all of this – and I’m sure you have a sense of what I think too…but what do YOU think? About any of it.

Is there a solution?

Leaving it with you.

Deep Breath.

x

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.

x

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:

Strength.

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.

x

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

PS…

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.

x

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

x