Category Archives: Uncategorized

I broke up with my TV

Standard

I had this relationship that had become a bit stale. Like this old person kind of hanging around, but I was still feeling this level of obligation to them because we had shared so much history and that. It had come to the point where, to be honest (and maybe a bit brutal) it was an inconvenient relationship. It was a bit awks too because they were just like there all the time you know. Look to be honest with you, it was nothing more than a relationship of convenience. Meaningless noise in the background. Gosh I know that sounds heartless but let’s be honest. It’s not that I’m not thankful. We’ve shared some life changing moments. The first female Prime Minister, the worldwide Ebola crisis, MH17 and 370, various World Cups, numerous election nights, the Royal Wedding, the Bachelor Finale. Unforgettable.

The main problem was that this relationship had started to choke out some of my other relationships. And I never said let’s be exclusive, can we just put that right out there ok. We had a standing date for the seven o’clock news. Every night. It was like a deadline in the sand and I couldn’t miss it. Some would say the hallmark of a controlling relationship. It did nothing for me other than to make putting the kids to bed even more stressful. You could almost say that this relationship had become more important than spending time with my kids. Ewwww.

If you have followed this blog for some time, you may recall me writing about my entertaining life with depression and twins. One of the things that I have really struggled with is noise. Yes noise, far too much of it in fact. Imagine my surprise when, after dumping my erstwhile companion, I discovered a significant reduction in noise in my life! This was accompanied by an inexplicable yet divine increase in silence, peace and calm! Had I known that ending this relationship would instantly make me more available to my kids and husband AND make less noise, I would have done it years ago. But hey. Live and learn, live and learn.

Ending this relationship has liberated me. It’s like I’m having my own Eat, Pray, Love moment. I can’t believe how many extra hours there are in an evening for a start. I am even thinking of getting out my dusty, old, incomplete cross stitch that I started in China in 2007. It’s been in the garage for years, another victim of this toxic relationship. I am reading TWO books! Hello brain! My husband and I had an ENTIRE conversation like three nights in a row last week. I think I’m sleeping better because I’m already wound down by the time I hit the pillow. And look, blogging again. I’m glad we said goodbye. I don’t miss you.

Advertisements

The Cabinet

Standard

My husband and I once made up a game called Noun, Verb, Adjective. The object is to think of a word that is all three. Totes nerdy much? Go on, try it. So it should come as no surprise then, that we spent the Sunday morning of our anniversary weekend away coming up with our dream team of politics. It started with our hand picked cross bench holding the balance of power in the Senate, but then we decided to go full tilt and design the Dream Cabinet. Not all members are current or even former politicians and we have made up some new portfolios and perhaps left some out. You may need to be an Australian reader to appreciate this list in its entirely, and I especially encourage you leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Tim Costello – Minister for Families and Community, and Prime Minister

Adam Goodes – Foreign Minister and Minister for Defence

Miriam Lyons – Minister for New Ideas and Vision

Larissa Waters – Minister for Planning and a Urban Affairs

Tara Moss – Minister for Women

Jane Caro – Minister for Education (obvs)

Eva Cox- Minister for Seniors

Lenore Taylor – Minister for Communications

Julian Burnside -Minister for Immigration

Tim Winton – Minister for Literacy

Christine Milne – Minister for Renewable Energy and Climate Change and Deputy Leader

Waleed Aly – Minister for Inclusion of Young People

Charlie Pickering – Minister for the Arts

Malcolm Turnbull – Minister for Bipartisanship

Michael Leunig – Minister for Early Education

Tony Windsor – Minister for Primary Industries

Stella Young – Minister for Disabilities

Gary Ablett – Minister for Sport

Debbie Kilroy – Attorney General

Ross Garnaut – Treasurer and Minister for Finance

Heather Ridout – Minister for Health

…and on the opposition benches…

Maurice Newman – Leader and Minister for Reintroducing 1950s Values

Jarrod ‘pleasure’ Bleijie – Deputy Leader and Minister for Crushing the Hopes of Young People

Alan Jones – Minister for Negative Agenda Setting

Karl Stefanovic – Minister for Having a Drink at Work

Christopher Pyne – Minister for Private School Snobbery

Andrew Bolt – Minister for Free Thought

Janet Albrechtsen – Token Minister for Women’s Affairs

Ray Hadley – Minister for Boofheads and Bogans

Michael Roche – Minister for Worshipping Coal (with Tony Abbott as his assistant)

Corey Bernardi – Minister for Ultra-extremism

Steve Price – Minister for Negativity and Grumpiness

Gina Rinehart – Minister for Exploitation and Advancement of Billionaire Wealth

Scott Morrison – Minister for Punishment

Peter Costello – Minister for Smugness

OK so we got a little silly toward the end there. What can I say, we were drinking. On the government benches, gender equality came without even trying (see Tony, not that hard). Not so when filling opposition positions. What does that say?

To the nurses

Standard

IMG_2390

Arriving for surgery is a graduated process of admission into an inner sanctum that most people only ever rarely see and barely remember. Like the watch house after a big night. First, you’re fooled into thinking you’re about to stay overnight in a five star hotel. They have those gold luggage wheely things and everything. Stylish walls, comfortable lounges. There are signposts however, hints to remind you that you are handing over control of your everything to people you have never met and are unlikely to remember (they give you stuff to make you forget). The sense of vulnerability is uncomfortable. There is the signing of your name like a hundred times. There’s the file. My file was placed on the counter top as I was signing away and, being the curious person that I am, I had a little flick through. Who wouldn’t want to know what they’ve got on you in that file? When I returned to signing, the staff member behind the desk (not so) subtly slid the file along the counter and out of my reach like I was trying to access Scott Morrison’s Irregular Maritime Arrivals data.

Ater the fake five star hotel waiting area, there is another area where only one person is allowed to accompany you. After an hour or so I get interviewed and tagged. I felt I was getting closer to the exclusive bit. Except I wasn’t. Here is where you wait, starving, while your surgeon’s morning list blows out and instead of two hours you end up here for four. But finally, a sign of something more inner sanctumy happens and I am changed into their clothes. The paper undies! I’ve now been moved to another waiting area (having lost my husband two hours ago because he couldn’t stand all the not eating) to a chair with a number on it. Now I belong, almost. Yet another hour or so and Sonia Kruger comes in to take me to the waiting bay. Oh good, because I was keen to do some more waiting. Sonia Kruger and I hit it off somehow and in the two minute wheelchair ride from waiting room three to waiting room four, she managed to share with me her dilemma about whether or not to have a third child. I wasn’t able to offer her much useful advice because I was in the middle of fighting back a panic attack. The humour was not lost on me that I was actually there because of too many large children inside me.

I’ve finally made it to a bed and I’m exhausted. I feel that they may as well not bother with the general anaesthetic because I could sleep for days completely unassisted. Dashing Dr Sleep comes in though and I think hey, may as well use your services seeing as how I’ve paid you an hourly rate equivalent to that of Gina Rinehart. When I finally see the guy who will actually stick knives in my belly (let’s call him Dr Knives), I know this is real. He draws all over me with a Sharpie and I’m thinking, a Sharpie? Really? Isn’t there like a hospital type sterile version of  Sharpie? I’m also thinking f*** it’s cold in here.

So I am drawn on, tagged, paper panted and ready to go. I get wheeled a long long way down some corridors, which is plenty of time for my panic to resurface and roll down my cheeks. Anther kind soul pats my hair just like your Mum would. And then there it is, the inner sanctum. Lots of people, lots of lights, fricking cold. My shaking is visible under the six blankets on top of me. There is some kind of kerfuffle with the blow up operating bed (yes I said blow up operating bed) and a comical scene ensues in which Dr Sleep and the nurses try to figure it out. What could possibly go wrong I say out loud, which seems to strike a disturbingly funny cord in the room and everybody laughs pretty big. Do you want me to name the ways, asks a nurse who I will call Nurse Ted, for reasons that will become apparent. No I really don’t, I reply. I really really don’t. Having lightened the mood, I’m now moved across to the blow up bed and people start putting needles in me. I notice it is about five to four. Nurse Ted knows I am almost in full panic mode and comes and stands really close. He holds my freezing, shaking hand in his massive, warm, bear like one and pats me. I tell him I’m alright and he says no you’re not. That thing happens when people are so kind to you it just makes more tears come. Nurse Ted wipes my tears away. I have a strong image of myself jumping up in front of him with a sword in my hand to protect him from the state government. But that might have been the drugs, because in the next moment, I am gone.

The clock says it’s about six thirty in the evening. I’m sore and dry and there are lots of tubes and short beeps. There is a nurse sitting right at my side. Let’s call him Gen-Y-Hipster-Bearded-Nurse-Guy. Gen-Y-Hipster-Bearded-Nurse-Guy was surreptitiously playing with his phone, which was hidden in the bedside table drawer a bit like you do at school. Hey there Hipster Nurse, I’m just saying but you know, if there ever was a moment that I can legitimately claim is all about me, this is it. This is a put your phone away moment yes? I decide not to argue. I can’t speak or move so there’s that, but if any of these short beeps turn into long uninterrupted beeps you better put that candy crushing aside dude.

I get wheeled up to the ward and I am delirious to discover that it is indeed just a bit like a hotel room and even better, that I have no roommate. Which is good because I was about to get inappropriate. I needed to, let’s just say adjust some things and exposure was a certainty. I was in need of some under the sheets adjustments and was shocked to discover that this whole gig came complete with what appeared to be a bonus full Brazilian. I know right now this may feel like far too much information; to say that I thought long and hard about the appropriateness of including this detail would be a complete lie. I’m just going to go with the fact that somebody put me in charge of my own drugs. Hospital. The only safe and clean place to have an acceptable love affair with controlled drugs.

It’s about three in the morning and the past twelve hours or so have got me thinking, not just about drugs, but about nurses. I guess in every profession, there are some who love their jobs and some who don’t. In the last twelve hours, I’ve yet to come across a single person who does not have a unique style of warmth and compassion that comes from within and cannot be taught. Every single person along the long chain of events that led me here to this high and painful moment, seemed to know exactly what to say to me and how to say it. Sonia Kruger knew that I needed a cheery, light conversation, one Mum to another, to keep my mind off my panic attack. Nurse Ted knew that it was all getting too much and, provided kindness and a warm hand to hold; some human connection in a cold and scary room. Nurse Business, my ward nurse, gave me practical, get the job done kindness. Even dear Nurse Hipster gave me material for a funny anecdote in this post.

Nurses work very very hard. For a very small percentage of what Dr Sleep and Dr Knives take home. Sure, Dr Sleep and Dr Knives have the expertise and the long long years of study. But without these good nurses, Drs Sleep and Knives would find that they are not nearly so successful at their jobs. Nurses change bed sheets, clean up shit, wee, vomit and blood, hold hands, wipe tears, make tea and have a whole range of clinical medical skills and knowledge and Doctors would be incompetent without them.

I had great doctors and I thank them, but the nurses pulled me through. Thankyou.

 

Mother Martyr

Standard

IMG_0171

Every time Mother Of One had coffee with Mother Of Two, she couldn’t really say how she truly felt and that she was struggling with motherhood so terribly. Because of course Mother Of Two had a lot more on her plate. You see, Mother Of One hadn’t told anyone, but her husband had recently lost his job and had sunk into a deep depression. She was sure that their relationship was falling apart. She was emotionally drained and struggled to feel love for her tiny baby. But hey, there were people who had it worse right?

Every time Mother Of Two had lunch with Twin Mother, she kept her feelings of mother shame to herself. Because of course, poor Twin Mother was dealing with TWO babies AT THE SAME TIME! Mother Of Two’s problems paled into insignificance. So she kept to herself the fact that her shouting at the children had reached a point where she was so overcome with shame that she felt incapacitated. She was fearful that someone would ‘take her kids away’ and that of course she was a terrible mum. But she couldn’t tell anybody, because someone always has worse issues right?

Every time Twin Mother had tea with Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way, she wanted so desperately to say how she thought she was losing her mind. But she didn’t. Because hapless Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way was always talking about her anxiety around how she would deal with a newborn baby when she already had so much to cope with. Twin Mother kept quiet about feeling like she wanted to cut herself or drink bleach just so she could get some attention for once, she kept that very quiet. Because really, what were her problems compared to that of others?

When Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way had dinner with Mother Of Triplets, they rarely talked about anything. Raising triplets had made Mother Of Triplets was so hyper alert that she had forgotten how to converse with adults and Mother Of Twins Plus One On The Way was simply in awe of Mother of Triplets. Mother Of Twins With One On The Way really wanted to say that she loved having twins, couldn’t wait for her next baby, but she didn’t want to sound smug. She even hoped for another set of twins. But she didn’t want to make it sound like everything was peachy. Even thought it pretty much was. You’ve got to be sensitive to other people’s struggles right?

One day, Mother Of Triplets had drinks with Quad Mum. The two of them had far too much to drink because it had been so long since they’d been out without the children. In their crazy, loveable, drunken stupor, they talked about life, love, passion, and truth. They remembered that they were women, people who used to not be mothers. They laughed and talked truth and nobody felt smug or drained or ashamed.

 

 

31st of January

Standard

drawing 6 Arch Feb 2013

 

I made it. I have (mostly) adhered to my new drinking rules since Christmas Eve. Yay me! Here’s what I learned…

1. If you replace alcohol with ice cream you will not lose any weight.

2. Not drinking alcohol on school nights makes getting up the next morning easier.

3. Total abstinence won’t work for me.

4. I still love wine.

5. I miss blogging with wine.

6. I can not drink for days and days and it’s totally fine.

7. You can break your own rules a few times. Really, it’s fine.

8. Not drinking alcohol every day saves money.

9. Drinking every day was completely habitual and did not add anything positive to my life.

10. This is a totally lazy post.

This was a great experiment, long overdue and I enjoyed doing it. I am planning on changing my drinking rules permanently. No more drinking every day. Very little or no drinking in front of the kids. Very infrequent or no drinking at the family dinner table. Pretty much no drinking on school nights. All rules subject to bending when needed.

Parenting – Am I doing this right?

Standard

Every now and again I get a cold fear in my heart and I think shit what if I am really making a mess of this? What if my children grow up to be horrible? After all, I, sometimes, am horrible. They take after us don’t they? All I want is to grow compassionate, responsible, kind, intelligent, spiritual, fun and socially competent human beings. It’s not such a tall order is it? But when I look at that list of what I want them to be I can’t help but think surely I will fail in at least one of those categories. They can’t grow up perfect. And if they did you could probably add irritating to that list. Most perfect people I know are highly irritating.

I know what I am really trying to say is that I want them to be better than me. That’s it. Heavens, it’s a hard luck lucky draw isn’t it? Who you get as parents I mean. I am often chuffed that I was the lucky one chosen to raise these three boys. But cripes, they could have done better.

I watched a family on Facebook. I’ve watched them for a few years now. She is utterly gorgeous, he defines ridiculously good looking. Along came an equally beautiful child. Their Facebook photos showed me their sunny, happy glamorous life. Love, gorgeousness, happiness, sunny days. I say this all without one shred of snide contempt. They really are that beautiful and I love her heaps (don’t know him that well). Totally happy for their happy. Then I found out, guess what? Not so happy. There was a black dog sneaking around the shadows of their sunny days and you would never have known.

How many times will I have to learn that no matter what things look like from the outside (least of all from the Facebook outside), that you can’t judge a book and all that. How many times will I compare myself to an illusion to find myself wanting, only to realise that I’m doing just fine under the circumstances. I am not happy for Facebook Family’s unhappy, but I understand. It can’t be perfect, none of it can, otherwise the sunny days wouldn’t be as nice. If it’s all too easy, it might not be really worth it.

HOPE

Standard

I wrote this a while ago. I couldn’t publish it. It’s very raw. I sat on it for a long time and I finally decided I had to put this out there because the heart of this blog has been brutal honesty all along. It was the comment of another mummy of twins that sealed the deal. Your words give me hope she said, I don’t feel so alone. What follows is the voice from the very bottom of the pit. But listen. The truth of it is that I did feel like this and now I don’t. I may feel like this again. I hope not. But there are things to do to get out of the pit. I did them. It was hard to do them. But it was way better than staying where I was. I didn’t publish this for the sadness. I did it for the HOPE. I want to be very clear about the reason for posting something so exposing. This is not a pity party. It’s quite the opposite. It is an acknowledgement that this all hurts quite a bit but that the hurt is not the end of the story. There is much, much more. You can be this low and still have HOPE.

I feel today like I’ve cried so hard I lost weight. I want to leave my kids but at the same time I couldn’t bear not seeing them every single day and knowing what funny things they did or said. I want to give them a much better mother. I feel like it would be good to drive a sharp knife right into parts of me. I feel like it would be good to get run over by a car. I thought about being a live kidney donor just so I could go to hospital and have a general anaesthetic. I feel like it is surely an impossibility that my husband could actually love this. I feel like the world and others living in it are living in a parallel universe to me. The world spins around me and I am disconnected from it. I just observe it. I feel like a robot, here simply to serve the needs of others. I look at happy parents and I reckon they are faking it. I feel terrified all the time that I have wrecked my kids. That is a fear too grave to even face the full truth of. I am so, so scared of that. I feel like I cannot really make anybody in the world understand what this feels like. I feel like some don’t care. I wonder if this can ever truly be fixed. I wonder where I went, who I am, why this happened. I wonder what is the point. I feel like it hurts to wake up, it hurts to make coffee, it hurts to carry on.

I call the GP to see if I can get an appointment. It just so happens that someone has cancelled and I can get straight in if I come down right now. My stomach is in knots as I get in the car. I can feel the raw emotion push to the surface as I get closer and closer to the clinic. I am going to have to say it out loud. I feel like I want to throw up. I put my sunglasses on so nobody can see my eyes. The very minute I sit down in his office (him, and I think, how can I say this to a man?) I choke on the massive wave of tears that come. I can barely speak. Sorry, I say. Sorry. I’m doing that thing where my breaths come in short gasps as I can’t properly breathe through the emotion. Sorry, again.

It’s OK, he says. He passes me the tissues but I came prepared. I manage a few words. It’s OK, he says. His empathy is genuine and he listens. Listens. The tears don’t stop though. But finally the words come. He does the questions. I am high. I ask the question I have never asked. I am surprised at how easily he gives me drugs. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not. I don’t know anything. My face  is Botox flat but my eyes are rat shit and red. I leave with my sunglasses on and it seems strange that people are just going about their business. The pharmacy lady is loud and inquisitive and I want to tell her to just shut up and put it in a bag. I monosyllable my way through it and almost choke when I hear her ask if I have any fun plans for the weekend. What? Then I realise she is talking to someone else.

Then I am finished. There is nowhere to go where someone will look after me so I go home.