Moments of motherhood (MOM’s) – You know you’re a mum when….

A friend of mine, Andrea of ‘Good Girl Gone Redneck‘ fame has started her own Linky/bloghop. It’s going to be a series of blog posts that will focus on Moments of Motherhood & this one’s about the times when ‘you know you’re a mum when’….

So here goes. You know you’re a mum when:

* Going to the grocery store without the kids is considered a treat & you take your time just because you can

* The term ‘sleeping like a baby’ is so completely irritating you could punch anyone that says it

* When you talk to yourself in public because you think your kids are with you

* You give another mum that knowing look as their child is having a tantrum in public

* You receive knowing looks when your child is having a public meltdown

* You’ve had all body fluids on you in a 24 hour period

* When an exciting night consists of vegging out on the couch reading/watching trash

* When you’re in the grocery store rocking the trolley back & forth because you think it’s a pram

* You hear a baby’s cry 50m away & it’s not yours

* You loiter in the baby section of department stores & grocery stores like you used to look at handbags, shoes & make up

* When getting your hair ‘done’ means using an actual hairdryer & not just natures hairdryer

* When you have a dance party in the kitchen while cooking dinner. At 5pm.

* When leaving the house requires planning & a mental checklist of things to take with you: bottles, snacks, water bottles, nappies & toys

* When you text your friends exciting news about Nappies being on sale

* When you feel guilty for absolutely everything you do & everything you don’t do for your kids

* When you only go to the toilet when you can feel your bladder bulging out of your pants or when your kidneys start getting sharp pains

* When you start calling holidays ‘changes of scenery’

* When groundhog day isn’t just a movie title

* When you say ‘taaaa’ instead of ‘thank you’ to anyone other than your toddler

 

Anyone else want to share their own Moments of Motherhood (MOM) with us?

 

 

 

Things I just don’t get

You know how when something strange, weird or perplexing happens, you just crook your head to one side & screw up your temple in the global pose that’s referred to as ‘the look of wonderment’. Yeah you know it. The ‘I just don’t get that’ look. Well, it got me thinking. What are those things, instances or circumstances that make me do said pose? Turns out, it’s quite a few things. And here are some of them:

* Why people ‘like’ their own posts of comments on FaceBook.

* Wearing socks with sandals? If it’s too cold, wear shoes.

* What’s the point of collots? Wear a skirt or shorts. Not too hard decision I would have thought.

* How people can’t tell the difference between Coke, Pepsi & all the diet, zero, Max versions of them.

* Why there are no personality tests (that you need to pass) for people that work in financial institutions, public service or for the medical profession.

* Why everyone you meet on a really hot day or really cold day reminds you of the temperature when you see them.

* Why everyone can’t just greet everyone by bowing to each other. It’s just much less complicated than handshaking & air kissing, especially in instances when one of you goes in for the wrong one & there is just awkwardness for the whole time you’re together. It can all be avoided with a simple bow.

* Why crap songs are the ones that stay in my head on ‘repeat’ or ‘loop’.

* Why the toilets aren’t closer to the movie theatres? You have to walk to far always that you’re guaranteed missing a chunk of the movie. Or you land up holding on & thinking about the bulging pain in your kidneys & bladder because you refuse to miss a second of the movie.

* Why most of the delicious foods have to be so bad for you.

* How you can’t feel a breeze when your bum crack is showing.

* How complete strangers know my kids in terms of their temperament, behaviours & preferences. These people are amazing – real oracles. They should all wear special capes.

* Why people are blind to parents with prams & small kids walking with a pram etc. I love having to juggle the pre-schoolers hand-holding & the pram all while trying to hold a door open or shuffle out of an elevator. And I especially love those people that barge into an elevator while you’re trying to get out.

* Why people asking the same questions expecting a different answer.

* When indicating to a loitering car in the car park, stalking you to your spot, that you’re not leaving, only to have them just stay & watch you load the car. The bonus is them getting angry at you for not leaving & going back into the shops.

* That you can have poppy seeds or spinach in your teeth & no one will tell you, but everyone’s quick to give you their opinion whether you’ve asked for it or not.

* Why people can’t decide on their choice of fast-food takeaway while standing in the queue, & staring at the massive reflecting signs of the meal options, before getting to the front of the line.

* People getting all bitter & twisted on Survivor. I’m pretty sure the motto is ‘outwit, outlast & outplay’.

* Why there are so many Fucktards in the world.

* Why people you pay to clean your home will NEVER clean it the way you would or see the same dust as you will ever see.

* Why people that say they have a headache don’t take any pain relief or drink water or do anything to alleviate the pain, but continue to complain they have a headache.

* Why I need to see proof of celebrities shedding the kilos after having a baby when they ALL have a nanny, a chef, a personal trainer & then another nanny just in case the other one gets sick.

* How Blu Tack works for like, ever.

* How I cry every.single episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Seriously?!

* Why as soon as I hit ‘post’ my brain will switch on & provide me with more things to add.

 

What have I done?

After writing my #LifeList last week, the same bloggers & I are writing a list of things we’ve achieved in our lifetime so far. It’s so refreshing focusing on the good things in life & I’m humbled to share them all with you.

So here we go: Did it. Done it. BOOM. (Again, in no particular oder)

* Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower

* Bought a manual/stick shift car without learning how to drive it.

*Abseiled

* Helped some mums through their toughest moments in the eye of the storm a.k.a Postnatal/Postpartum Mood Disorder.

* Been to the top of the Empire State Building.

* Went to Ground Zero

* Done Yoga

* Been to Israel & met my family there.

* Achieved my goal of learning how to do a twist in gymnastic & incorporate it into my floor routine (high school gym squad).

* Been to the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C

* Assisted mums that have had a PPMD put plans in place to have a better experience the next time.

* Coordinated & managed to Skype at BlogHer last year & chatted to a room full of awesomeness in Yael, Ivy, Jaime, Susan & A’Driane.

* Gotten married

* Jet skied

* Been to Yad Vashem in Israel.

* Traveled overseas with a group of strangers & came back with some life long friends.

* Bought a house

* Been to LA, New York (twice), Washington D.C., Paris, London, Hong Kong (four times) & Hawaii.

* Been a bridesmaid

*  Seen Kylie, Matchbox Twenty, The Killers & John Mayer in concert.

* Had children

* Ice Skated

* Gotten through lots of break ups & mended lots of broken hearts.

* Parasailed

* Sang Karaoke both locally & at Bar Code in Times Square, NY (may it RIP).

* Literally walked out of a job that was toxic in which I was being being bullied.

* Gone kayaking

* Had a natural birth & c-sec

* Been skiing.

* Made SO many virtual friends that I could easily count & depend on.

* Shopped till I’ve dropped

* Swam with dolphins

* Climbed the Statue of Liberty

* Been the passenger in a Ferrari 355.

* Been the model in a pharmacy catalogue when I worked in advertising.

* Been a passenger on a motorbike & managed to hang on, literally, for dear life.

* Helped to raise over $17k for Cancer Reaserch by participating in Relay for Life in two years of participating at the event.

* Eaten a pretzel in NYC.

* Rollerbladed around the Formula One track at Albert Park in Melbourne.

* Got my nose & top of my ear pierced.

* Started a blog.

* Beaten the PPD Demon.

 

Am sure there will be more to come.

 

 

 

 

My #LifeList

I’m joining a whole bunch of wonderful blogger women/mums that are all compiling & sharing their ‘Life Lists’. (You can see their posts at the bottom of my list). I see this as an opportunity for me to gather my thoughts on what I want to still achieve in my life. I hope by writing them down & making them public, I’ll be more accountable to my list & make a concerted effort to achieve them all, if not, many.

So here’s my list. Today. I’m sure there will be lots more added as soon as I hit ‘post’. Oh, & they’re in no particular order.

* Get a breast reduction.

* Want to kick Maternal depression & anxiety in the arse.

* Travel with & without kids.

* Actually READ & start using my 4 Ingredients books! (I’ve taken them off the shelf so already a move in the right direction).

* Trapeze

* Take up trampolining again (after breast reduction)

* Eat healthier.

* Go to a BlogHER so I can meet the most amazing women I’ve met online & am desperate to hug & share a cocktail or a few with. Going to Warrior Mom Con instead!

* Take the kids to Israel & finally meet our family.

* Go on a luxury cruise.

* Read for the love of it, but also to make my life richer with the things learnt.

* Take the kids to Poland & Germany to see the Concentration Camps so that they can see with their own eyes things they will learn about as part of their family history.

* See a taping of Ellen.

* Go on an African Safari.

* Get laser surgery so I can go through life without putting on glasses or putting in contact lenses.

* Live on a house boat for a while – it’ll take discipline to a new level, ‘stop doing that or you’re going overboard’.

* Help one person or a family less fortunate than I with ongoing financial assistance.

* I want to go out dancing a lot. Maybe in my pyjamas. Cos comfort’s a bonus when shaking your arse. 

* Visit a tropical Island / Island holiday (& I don’t mean Australia. Yes we’re an Island, but thinking more resorty).

* Do a flashmob.

* Have a coffee with Jeff Probst. (Didn’t know he had a TV show. This could actually be achievable!)

* Take the family to Washington D.C’s Holocaust Museum.

* Have something I’ve written published.

* Handwrite thank you letters when to those people that have touched my soul.

* Get my hair cut & coloured at the hairdressers more regularly…. do away with colour from a box in the supermarket.

* If I had the strength, I would volunteer at a children’s hospital & spend time with kids so their parents could have some respite.

* Get a new Passport (mine’s still in my maiden name). Oh & while I’m at it, get the kids theirs too.

* Have the same body as I had in my twenty’s/pre-muppets. (Hopefully I don’t have to do anything for that to happen. I’m dreaming big here people!!)

* Be as confident as I come across.

* Try to see the beauty in every day no matter how tough things seem.

* I want to find a passion or a hobby.

* Volunteer to kangaroo care for premmie babies in the NICU when their mums are unable to be there.

* Expand my cooking repertoire.

* Read every single word & watch all the footage of Maya Angelou.

* Want to make a real difference to someone’s life my my life’s actions & work.

* Exercise more. And by more, I mean exercise!

* Meet Oprah – that way I could ask her about everyone she’s met that I want to saving lots of time.

* Fly first/business class that have those super cool private suites.

* Go to a water theme park & go crazy.

* Pay for my MIL to go on a much dreamt about cruise.

* Make sure I continue to take photos of my kids artwork to make photo books.

* Be a radio DJ or talk show host for a year/month will do.

* Learn to fly a helicopter & fly it over the most wonderful beaches, mountains & scenic places globally.

* Get a tattoo.

* Be better at confrontation by looking at it as being assertive.

* Try to fear less. Try to BE fearless.

* Learn to speak fluent Hebrew.

* Continue with therapy for the rest of my life just like my car will require tune ups for as long as it’s driven. Gotta keep it working the best it can.

* Write my own eulogy – I want the details of my life accurate & frankly, to have the final word.

 

 

Mama’s Comfort Camp – Nine months on……

Mama's Comfort Camp

Most of my regular readers will know about a closed group on FaceBook called Mama’s Comfort Camp, but for those of you that haven’t, allow me to share some things about the group with you.

Essentially this group is what we call a refuelling station – a safe haven of self-care and self-kindness for mums – the much needed space & place to visit at the end of a hard day, during nap time or first thing to help you get moving! We have all sorts of threads like the ‘tell me something good’ thread we start each month, to the ‘I wanna’ thread where we dare to dream big or just wish we all had a maid. The ‘I don’t wanna’ thread is also our lighthearted attempt to whinge about the groundhogness (i.e. monotony) of some days & knowing that you’re not alone. And mostly, we support each other on the hard days & with personal issues with the utmost respect & understanding. On these posts, we post ‘PT’ which stands for ‘potential trigger’ thereby warning others in the group that the content may be triggering or painful to them.

There are many more heartfelt & uplifting threads & posts, like ‘Flashback Friday where we post pictures of ourselves/our kids/partners & also our own Google map where most of us have placemarked where we’re from which brings us all even closed even though some a millions of miles apart.

The group was the brainchild of my friend Yael Saar (from www.ppdtojoy.com) & together with the Den Mothers (myself, Jaime Harker (@jamesandjax, jamesandjax.com), Melissa Hogan (@story3girl, hardtomommy.blogspot.com, Jennifer Pody Gaskell (@jenrenpody tranquilamama.wordpress.com & Jenna Farelyn (@frelle, jennafarelyn.blogspot.com) & Robin Farr @FarewellStrangr, www.farewellstranger.com), we’ve just celebrated our six month anniversary.

To describe this group, using Yael’s words, ‘over 200 moms from around the world come together to nourish ourselves and each other by sharing our ups and downs, our joys as well as our doubts. In this safe space we are free to give ourselves permission to feel all of our feelings and disarm what is painful by conscious interaction with our fears and demons. We’ll be sharing experiments in self-kindness and self-care without “shoulds”. We also talk about ways to disarm the inner critic that lives in the head by finding and befriending the inner wise woman who lives in the body’.

Because Mama’s Comfort Camp is a closed FB group, only members can post & read posts & nothing you post there will be visible on your regular FB newsfeed – keeping your rants about your MIL or step family private from them!

Please note, the URL that all the MCC links on this page will direct you to is the Mama’s Comfort Camp open FB page. If you would like to join the closed group, please let us know on that page & you will be added. New members are added every week on New Member Monday, so I’ll just say, see you on Monday!

Confrontation, oh how I fear thee

I don’t do confrontation. I’m not sure how many people know this about me, but, well, now it’s out there.

I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about confrontation that scares me – whether it be the ‘I wish I’d thought to say this/that’, or whether it be my lack of confidence in having a conversation ‘live’ that can’t be edited like the written word, whether it be the about my lack of confidence in myself I have & not feeling up to putting my feelings out into the world, or the knowledge that I am leaving myself open & vulnerable by exposing personal feelings & thoughts that once out may be used against me or as bait in future conversations.

Confrontation also brings up so many insecurities for me – of not being smart enough. I was always an ‘average’ student at school & I would always hide & not disclose test scores for fear of ridicule or judgement, even when the scores were ok or even really good. I just didn’t have the assurance that I was able to meet anyone academically & I think I envision confrontation as a type of school debate & don’t feel smart enough to ‘compete’ or will win it for the team. I’m scared of what will happen, what will be said back, that I won’t be equipped with the arguments, the vocabulary or to leave emotion out of it (cos sometimes it’s not about that), to personalise everything & then to play the self-blame game.

I have grown up with depression always being my constant visitor & companion, so my negativity & pessimism spent a long time shaping my outlook on life & my self confidence. I know I’m not the same person as I was as a child or teenager & am learning to see things differently & change the way I think about things, however, for some reason I just can’t shake the fact that confrontation scares me & this fear stops me from acting on it.

I think having a delicate personality or a history of self-doubt also brings ‘character assassination’ into the mix of things I fear when thinking about confrontation. I just can’t shake the feeling that I am going to be ‘dumped on’ even though I might have everything working in my favour for an apology or whatever I’m wanting as the outcome of the meeting. And then there’s the personality of the other party to consider. Strong, intimidating, controlling & those people that are not scared to say anything also stop me in my tracks.

Fear the unknown outcome also scares me. Being one of those ‘type A’personalities & wanting to be able to control as much as possible in my life (which I know is unrealistic, but that’s a whole other blog post) does not bode well when it comes to having conversations ‘on the fly’ that involve feelings & emotions & possible outcomes that I don’t want or didn’t plan for. How will I cope & how will I feel should the outcome be unfavourable? Will this start me on a carousel of ongoing confrontations?

I’m not quite at the point in my life that I know who I am, that I love, respect & accept myself & feel worthy…. And then something like fear or inability to confront shakes me up just that little bit more when things in my personal life requires me to either step up & stand up for myself. This fear makes me question whether I’m ever going to be ‘content’ knowing I’m letting fear & vulnerability take over from rectifying things, improving relationships or standing up for what I believe is right or just having the opportunity to being heard & validated. There are some aspects of myself that I am comfortable with & like & things that attract people to me, but not being able to stand up for myself or being confrontational makes me question if I’m truly content & ok & can lead a fulfilling life.

And I know not all confrontations are hard or need to be a clash of the minds. It doesn’t always have to be a shouting match or a well prepared speech using examples of things from the past to give your point validity. Sometimes it’s a gentle conversation that is included as part of a catch up over coffee & doesn’t get another minutes thought. I think I’m ok with those. Yeah, I am.

When thinking about this fear of mine, it got me thinking of the ‘other party’. Are people nasty or rude to me knowing that I avoid confrontations & they’ll get away with it? Maybe. Do they use this against me? Maybe. Do they push me to the point where I’m backed into a corner out of fear as a means to an end knowing I won’t push back? Maybe. Do I think that those people who know I avoid confrontation exploit me knowing they’ll get away with it? Maybe.  Do I see this as a character flaw of mine & do people that know me see it as a flaw? Maybe. Have I lost friendships & family members over the fact that I don’t confront them. Most definitely yes.

I know I have made conscious decisions lately not to confront certain things that have occurred in my life. It hasn’t been easy & it’s been hurtful, often relentless, nasty & (mostly) unwarranted. This is one of those times that no matter what I say, I will not be heard or given the space to put my case forward. I don’t want to be involved in a situation of having a conversation like this, that only serves to provide the other person with the stage to perform & no purpose other than to give that person an opportunity to lay out their reasons for their actions or inactions.

I know there are times I’ll have to step up & my kids are going to be the impetus for this. There are going to be many occasions that I’ll have to stand up for them as they grow up & I want to be able to do this for them. And I want them to learn this skill from me or DH as I don’t want them going through life letting people take advantage of them for not being able to stand up for themselves.

I would love some helpful (gentle) tips on how I can overcome my fear, so please feel free to share the love cos I sure could do with some of it at the moment.