Mothers’ Day – #2

May 12, 2013

A stirring day, Mothers’ Day.

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

Earth Mother.

Nurturer.

Giver.

Lover.

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?

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:

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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

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2013

Ten years ago, in the last days of December, I took a series of shots (including the following) with a borrowed Polaroid camera. My sister was overseas – whom I missed terribly – and she wanted to see a photo of me getting near the end of my pregnancy…as soon as possible. We reasoned that this would be the fastest way.

I know it sounds stupid, but that’s just the way it was.

No digital camera. No scanner. No FACEBOOK.

Although we can do this now in the click of a download, you only had two options just a mere 10 years ago (for me, anyway):

E-mail and real mail.
We went for real mail…

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…after all, I had two weeks to go.

Well, no I didn’t. An hour after watching the midnight fireworks over Sydney Harbour on the telly, I went into labour. I gave birth to my first child – a daughter – on the first day of the year.

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I write this today because I am feeling a concoction of emotions.

My baby girl is 10. TEN.
I know many of you have passed through this milestone with your children – sometimes more than once – but this is my first time and I can practically see her growing – right before my very eyes. I can’t help but see the flashes of the soon-to-be teenager, as well as the giving and loving young woman she is deep inside.

I also feel overwhelmed about the job I’m doing with her (and my younger daughter) – whether I’m royally screwing things up some moments and doing amazing stuff at others.

It feels like a pivotal time and I’m fastening my seatbelt.

I’m starting to fasten my seatbelt with life too.
I feel a buzz about this upcoming year – like there’s a change approaching. I can smell it in the air.

So in these remaining few minutes of the 1st January, I want to wish everyone a fantastic 2013.
May it present a fresh start in an important area of your life; or a new and more positive perspective.

May it be a year of positive change.

May this year be the one that sees a shift in our humanity.

In the words of John Lennon:

“You may say I’m a dreamer;
But I’m not the
only one.”

I’m also looking forward to the year ahead with you.

Lots of love,
Paula x

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.

Sisterhood.

It’s the only way.

Big kiss.

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

Barren.

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.

x

* http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/how-what-nicole-kidman-has-done-will-soon-be-a-crime-in-nsw-20110118-19v10.html

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