I need to know that I know. And you probably do, too.

The other day, husband and I were driving somewhere. Both our 2yo daughter and 6mo son were in the car and I was driving. It had been a long day, we were all sick of the car and our boy was grisly. Husband had tried a few things to soothe him but we both knew he was tired and needed to sleep. And, you know, kids don’t sleep when they really need to…they fight it, hard

Anyway, it got to the point I had to let it go, and resolve to let him whinge and just drive. As soon as I stopped obsessing about his crying and what we could try next, I was a lot calmer. I glanced at him in my rear view mirror and suddenly I just, with only barely a conscious thought of what I was doing, reached over behind my husband and disconnected the DVD player on our sons side. His screen went black. Within 10 seconds he had stopped crying and within a minute he was sound asleep. 

Call it what you will but I just knew all of a sudden what was wrong and how I could fix it. That the bright, constantly changing picture was keeping his little eyes darting and his little brain ticking. And he was tired so he was fighting himself and that was making him cry. I removed the stimulation and voila, he relaxed and fell asleep. 

That’s a mother’s intuition right there. Maybe mixed with a spoonful of experience…but mostly it was simple – I stopped trying to work out the answer consciously and let it come naturally. 

And I think this is a way of being I can and should apply consistently during my day. So often, I’m confronted with ‘what should I do now?’ moments as a mum. Wondering what’s causing the sadness/anger/distress evident in my child. I believe that most of the time I know the answer but I try to hard to force it, work it out. Instead, I should just breathe, relax and try to let the answer come to me. Because I think – and again I will say most of the time – I think mothers know. We just don’t trust ourselves enough anymore in this day and age of experts galore, to know better than anyone else what our little people want and need right now

I’m going to try it – try to trust myself a bit more to be the one who knows my little people best – because I also feel certain that I will absolutely know when those times occur (and they will) that I don’t know what is needed and that it is time to seek help from my village. And that will be ok, too.  

x S

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Those conversations matter

So, you may or may not have seen that 4 Melbourne University students found themselves embarrassed recently when one of them accidentally added a female acquaintance to a group chat on Facebook the four of them were having.  You see, the chat was about the female that was added (who therefore saw the content of the chat, including the history, even though she was swiftly removed when her presence was noted) and the theme of the chat was basically how attractive she was. 

Doesn’t sound too embarrassing, at first. Except when you read the language and terminology these “men” were using to express their “admiration” of her >> this is where I vomit in my mouth a bit <<

One of them shared a photo in the chat, taken from her personal fb page, of her sitting on a bed in a white dress taking a selfie. 

“She’s a very attractive girl,” says one of them, only his chosen expression of that sentiment is “I’d throw her on that bed.”

Then another chimes in with, “Bring her to Thailand. We need a bike.” Cue guffaws of male laughter. 

Finally, a love struck romeo asks for some advice on how best to approach this girl, who two of the participants have never even met, and is given the advice “Show her where you piss from. Works 9/10 times.”

…….

You know, I actually believe these guys when they say that they were just having a harmless conversation, that they think they respect women, they were having ‘a joke’. They don’t sound like woman-haters or scum of the earth. 

They sound like a lot of men. And how devastating is that. 

This is a real, terrible example of the culture of blind eyes we seem to have going on when it comes to the disgusting way women are viewed by some men. 

I had a conversation with my husband recently about how, though I believed he would never speak about women in disrespectful, abhorrent ways, I was certain he had been present during those types of conversations and not spoken up against that type of talk. Not said to his peers, “Hey mate, tone it down. No need to say xxx/talk like that.  It’s pretty shit form to talk about her that way.” And he admitted it. It’s ‘not what blokes do’, to speak up for absent women. “It’s just talk.”

“But,” I reminded him, “That girl they are speaking of so horribly…that girl might be your wife – your mother. She could be your sister. She could be your daughter. Wouldn’t you want someone to eat up for her?” And the reality is, the way we are going, it’s inevitable that my tiny, innocent, beautiful girl will one day be the victim of this vile type of men. So, what can we do?

It’s no use me, a woman, piping up during one of those conversations and reprimanding the offenders. Firstly, I’m unlikely to hear it and secondly, I’m just a woman, after all! It’s pretty obvious those guys don’t value feminine opinions too highly so anything I said would at best be ignored and at worst make me their next victim. Nope. I think the only hope we have for exterminating this deep seated view held by some men, that it’s OK to speak about women with a total lack of decency or respect ‘as long as you don’t know them’, is for the good, decent men in our lives to speak up for us.

Maybe – just maybe – if enough decent men stand up and show that they don’t think it’s ok to label women as sluts, whores, bikes they can all ride, pussy they can grab – even just in ‘casual conversation’ – maybe those asshats will rethink. Stop. Keep their comments to themselves. Even – and this is a massive stretch, I know it – reassess their own morals and values and realise their behaviour is wrong. 

If enough of their peers disagree with their behaviour, the behaviour will start to disappear. It won’t happen quickly but it could happen. Guys who speak so poorly of women are usually ones with fragile egos and the opinion of their peers matters a lot to them. Let’s use that against them and turn the tide.

This isn’t about man vs woman. This isn’t a man hating stance. 

This is about good person vs bad person. It’s an asshole-hating stance. So girls, talk to your decent men and get them on board. Guys, next time you hear an asshole conversation – imagine the girl they’re talking about is a woman you value and speak up for her. Cause I guarantee, some other place, with some other group of assholes, she is the girl they’re talking about, and it needs to stop.

Now.

#speakupforher 

I have a mum tum

No. That  is not misspelled “momentum”, it is mum tum. As in mummy tummy, baby bulge, muffin top, etc. I hate it although I’m usually fairly oblivious to it.

It’s on my radar today for two reasons; firstly a photo of me beaming proudly beside my daughter on her first ride on her Very Own Pony. The lovely “I just ate 3 dinners” t-shirt tightness was very obvious… Only, I hadn’t just eaten one dinner let alone three. Oops. 

Secondly, and more importantly, I hurt my back again…since kidlet #2 arrived I’ve had a recurring back injury which is due, I believe, to a little gift pregnancy left me: diastasis recti – or abdominal separation. Yay! 

What’s the connection? I imagine you wondering. Well, apparently a major cause of women having a sort-of-still-preggers belly look months after childbirth is due to diastasis recti. It’s not fat, it’s literally your abdominal organs bulging out through the separation of your abdominal muscles. Great. Thanks gravity. And laws of physics. And pregnancy. Sigh.

So it’s time that I did something about it – not to look good, although that will be a nice side effect – but because I only have one body and ain’t nobody going to look after it for me.

And this is something that I want to pass on to my little girl (and boy, for that matter). The mentality that our priority is being healthy and doing the right thing by our body. That a body is beautiful when it is healthy and respected. That the number that matters is never your weight…it’s numbers like your cholesterol, your iron levels, your white blood cell count. 

Our health is something so many of us take for granted and only truly value when it’s threatened or, in sad cases, gone. I’m guilty of doing it…that’s why I hardly ever exercised and only went for my first run at the embarrassing age of 35. As  in, 3 months ago. Oops.

In saying that, I eat reasonably well and am active.  I’ve never been more than slightly overweight and I have always tried to be grateful for my health and respectful of my body.

I think too many people believe their value as a person is determined by what they look like as opposed to what they do, how they behave, how they treat others. We focus so much energy on criticizing our physical appearance – my butt is too big, nose too small, eyes to close, hair too thin, I’m fat, this wobbles, my legs are short….do we spend even a quarter of that energy reviewing our behaviour? Did I speak kindly today, is there someone who I think needs a shoulder tonight, did I waste food, create unnecessary waste, act dishonestly, hurt someone. 

What do you think you will be loved for? Your nice legs or your generous heart? 

In the same vein, do we give as much energy to appreciating the awesome and frankly amazing things our bodies do every day, as we do being ashamed and resentful at the aspects we don’t like? I’ve grown two entire human beings in this body….yes, I have stretch marks and loose skin, a 5 inch long c-section scar and the aforementioned Grand Canyon Ab Separation…and whilst I absolutely do not love these marks and scars, I recognise them for what they are: proof that my body can do and has done amazing things. In return I try to take care of it and respect it, and even go so far as to love the skin I’m in because it’s me. It’s the only one I am ever going to have and it’s a good one. I am healthy and able and that, my friends, is a gift that I recognise and value. 

If you focus on the wonder of your physical self, it’s much easier to see past your little imperfections – and trust me, majority of them are so little no one sees them but you.

This is not to say that I think you shouldn’t give a shit about appearance. That anyone who cares what they look like is wrong. Physical appearance is important to most people and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. At the most basic level we are animals and instinctively we look first and talk/smell later. So caring about your appearance is both natural and understandable.

My point is that you should at least care as much about your actions as your appearance and that you should at least appreciate your body for what it has, can and does do, as much as you criticise it for what you perceive as its failings. 

If you can retrain yourself to gain this bit of balance, you might just find that the positives you feel about you start to overtake the negatives – and that can only make your life a brighter, healthier space.

And that can’t be a bad thing. 

So, that’s me. I’m off to write up the exercises I need to start doing to get my Ab Split healed and stick it on the wall so I actually do it. I hope it might flatten out my mum tum….but you know what, if it stops my recurring back pain I’ll be very  satisfied and if it gives me flatness of tummy I can be thrilled.

I hope you, if you’re reading this, can start to objectively counter your negative body thoughts, one by one, and turn your focus ever so slightly from what you are to who you are and  land somewhere in the middle.  The world can only benefit from more kindness, respect and happiness. 

(Well the world minus the companies that profit from our misery and self doubt…sorry diet pill people and exercise machine pushers) 

x S

A brief hello

It’s been a while…quite a while actually! since my last post. To summarise:

My son has an allergy/intolerance to dairy and eggs. Screw you, rude nurse who told me it was ‘colic’. He is much better now and I am dairy and egg free myself and it’s not horrible!

I got diagnosed with PND about 2 months ago and it’s been a good thing to be diagnosed but I still struggle to accept that I have anything going on. Sigh. Meanwhile I do wonder if aforementioned rude nurse who’s horrible behaviour you can relive here spotted it first or created it….hmmm. The chicken or the egg dilemma…

Anyways, I need to get off my butt and blog more; that is between caring for the 2.5yo girl child, the 6mo boy child, the 6.5yo canine child, the 9yo pony child and the 4 x 1yo chicken children. And the household, the new trees and spending some time with husband. And running 2 very very small home businesses. 

When I put it like that, it seems like a lot and maybe I need to clear some of my ‘To Do’ items. Permanently.  

But write more I will. Just, not tonight. It’s bedtime now. 

Adios, amigos  – talk to you soon x