Building a family one brick at a time

Top tips for flying long haul with small kids

We’ve just emerged from the other side of a very long dark tunnel of travel. We are all still alive, and as such I now feel qualified to offer some advice on this lunacy. 

First of all, don’t do it. If this trip is not absolutely essential, don’t bother. It will drain you of all your life-force, and then some, and when you think you can’t carry on anymore, you will not only have to do so, but carrying a deceptively heavy small child who ‘can’t walk Mummy’ and cumbersome backpack plus child’s carry on thing (more on that later). My overriding advice here is, don’t choose to be a lunatic, it won’t be fun and it won’t be relaxing. So if a ‘holiday’ is what you’re after, hire a babysitter and go and lie down in a hotel for a few hours, then come back. Job done. 

However, if it is compulsory (e.g. family emergency or, you have run out of English chocolate etc) and you cannot avoid boarding that plane (or planes 😫), then there are some things you can do to reduce the horror. 

1. Do not buy kids ride on carry on luggage (you know the one) unless you enjoy carrying them. They seem like a great idea, and my kids love riding them around the house, but got bored of that after 15 minutes at the airport. After that, Mummy and Daddy carried them (and the children) the entire way from check in to plane (compliance with a pushchair also non-existent so to avoid pushing that plus carrying child and said ride on, so we checked it in). And let’s be sensible, you only want to be messing about with 1 bag on the plane for all the crap you need. Trying to remember which of the 5 carry on bags contain the nappies, and then where the spare clothes, and flight pillow that you won’t get to use, is a cerebral step too far. 

2. Try to avoid the 1-3year old window- 1-2.5 year olds do not generally travel well and can’t be folded into bassinets.

3. Decline all meals, pack 20,000 snacks you know they like – a carton of banana milk is not your friend, and plane food is shit anyway, plus there’s no bloody room for it if you’re flying in scum class. 

4. Somehow work out which planes are less busy, extra seats will save your sanity. Find out when school hols are where you’re going and don’t let them clash with your dates. Children like to stretch out when they sleep, and lets face it, economy seats are ALREADY SMALL ENOUGH. Beware though that some planes are just busy because, well they just are. Prepare for the worst. A feeble, pleading look in your devastated neighbour’s direction might end up in them being kind to you, so it’s worth a try.  

A happy happy moment. 

5. Medicate. Only if you want to keep your marbles. You decide who.

6. Sticker books. BEST INVENTION EVER. Next to the iPad and child size headphones. Fortunately the sticker makers have moved on from my era when they were made never to be removed again from a surface. But on the plane who cares anyway?

7. Pyjamas are your friend. Well for your kids anyway if you don’t want slightly odd looks. My kids wore them all the way. Yes, for 24 hours. Pack some spare ones too. Oh and hoodies. They conceal the Star Wars and snoopy pyjamas a little. 

8. Train your children for nappy changes in confined spaces. Aeroplane toilets are only designed for a teeny tiny baby to fit on the change table. They seem to ignore that some kids (ahem mine) are taking their sweet time to be loo trained. 

9. Speaking of toilets, prepare for the worst and hopefully it won’t happen. But hear this. A very good friend of mine experienced a major poonami episode with her young son on a (mercifully) short flight, where poo ended up caught in the seatbelt buckle (oh yes, hand sanitiser all the way please, shit (snigger) gets everywhere…), all over her dress, and somehow got on her forehead, pointed out by a kindly neighbour. BRING SPARE CLOTHES FOR YOU TOO. And occasionally look in the mirror. 

10. Believe it will end eventually. Even the longest trip, which mine was, is over now and I can write this. We were pretty lucky, not so sure about the people who got smacked by our children’s ride on suitcases as we navigated the ‘slim people only please’ aisle to our seats, but it could have been so much worse. So head into that tunnel battle ready and hopefully you’ll emerge a little battered, and tired but hopefully not too traumatised. 


New Tricks

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’ll know I’m a ‘try new stuff’ kind of girl, as well as one who passionately believes in caring for yourself in order to be a great mumma, and doing stuff for you rates pretty highly on the life list. 

I mentioned previously that in the spirit of doing new stuff, I’m now training to be a yoga instructor – and believe it or not, I’m so very nearly there, just one more hurdle that’s fast approaching. Exciting stuff. 

Now I’m never going to be an instafamous yogi – much as they are very impressive and nice to look at, I’m more about the real stuff – eg imperfect bodies are perfect, who wants to all be the same? I’ve learned sooooo much on my yoga journey, but I’ll save that for another day. 

So then another new thing cropped up – Acroyoga. Sounds intriguing I thought – and needing to blow away my Crossfit failure cobwebs I signed myself up with the ‘Nourishing Nomads’ to learn some stuff. It sounded cool, and the first workshop I went to was lots of fun, but I confess I felt a little out of my depth. I think this was more to do with trusting total strangers than anything else (something to work on there…). I had that ever present enthusiastic smile, and gung ho attitude, that was actually a big fat mask for mild terror and a large cup of fear.

The next workshop was for handstands. I did handstands as a kid, and had another go one day in NZ many many years ago, but since then I’ve not indulged. And they are surprisingly hard when you’re not 10. I must have learned something though. 

I had no idea I crossed my feet like that. Anyway… then there was this ‘acro jam’ thing. And no it’s not a condiment. It’s something I’d seen before and not actually known what it was. It was the moment we were out walking and saw this bunch of nutters in the park doing crazy acrobatic stuff and thought gosh, that looks hard, let’s go for a beer. Anyway, turns out it’s not as hard as it first seems – well especially not if the person telling you what to do actually knows their shit. I busted some crazy shapes, watched by my kids who were a little bemused, but really were more interested in digging with sticks and collecting leaves. 

Then there was another unexpected opportunity to learn a bit more again. The Nourishing Nomads were staying a little longer. 

I was armed with a bit more courage (not Dutch, much as that was tempting) so I sashayed along to another workshop. My first desire when I began my Acroyoga journey, was simply not to die, or break, and I now found myself paying more attention to the intricacies of this fun art than the potential for death or serious injury. You see it seems it is possible to fall without dying. Add to that, the little gang of Acroyogis who I’d now spent quite a few sessions with and got quite close to – physically, that’s for sure. 

Anyway I still watched the experts with mild amusement as the Nomads re-enacted part of that incredible movie – Dirty Dancing – oh yes you know the move… And told us we’d be doing that by the end of the workshop. I quietly sniggered and allowed my inner weakling to stand proud and tell me there’s no fucking way. HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? 

Well it just shows that no matter how shit you were at gymnastics (despite my enthusiasm, I was excluded from moving up a class because I wasn’t good enough aged 10 or so), what a terrible athlete you promised to be (having walked half of the 1500 metres at secondary school but went on to run a marathon in my 30s); never ever give up. If it’s your dream, you can do it. And even if it’s not a dream, it’s just something you stumble across, the universe just takes you there and it’s probably not a dream given you never thought in your wildest dreams you could; you CAN. Everyone is good enough to try anything. And it’s never as scary as it was the first time, so go back and do it again. Find your awesome. 

Thank you Ana and Raven (aka The Nourishing Nomads), and the gorgeous acro yoga gang I’ll be so sad to move away from, you taught this new mummy new tricks 😍. 

Yes, that’s me. 💜

My fourth love

Is a game. It’s a sport, and it’s something I don’t do anymore – mainly because of 2 of my other loves, my kidlets. Hopefully I’ll come back to playing it one day, but for now I must content myself with watching it. And right now (well for the next two weeks) is the best time of the year. 

This is the time of the year I find it hard to be in Australia, the best tournament in the world is being played for the next two weeks in London – as it has been for about the last 130 years. It’s a tournament steeped in tradition, the venue it takes place at is beautifully maintained, with stunning flowers, manicured lawns, and many a picnic spot. It’s a place where all the players wear white, and we stuff ourselves with strawberries and cream, drink Pimms from a can and pray for sunshine. Oh Wimbledon how I miss you!! 

Tennis is an interesting sport-Andre Agassi famously described how incredibly lonely the singles game is, comparing it to being a boxer, but even a boxer has his coach in his corner. In tennis you’re all alone, it’s just you facing your enemy, who you can’t touch or talk to. He described it thus; ‘of all the games men and women play, it’s the closest to solitary confinement’. 

Well that doesn’t sound much fun does it?! It’s not all like that. Doubles was my game, I’m far too sociable to stand all by myself at one end of the court. I like having someone to talk to, and the word ‘YOURS’ is rather handy in this format. Plus I never played that seriously. We played in a local league back in the UK, with several divisions catering for all talents (or lack thereof). 

Part of the amusement was coming across opponent/s who took the game extremely seriously on a Saturday afternoon in a leafy suburb, on some dodgy courts – whilst enduring some light drizzle. Facing our stony-faced retro-styled John McEnroe-alike (in the short shorts and headband stakes) we would conjure up some pretend tactics, talking into tennis balls, tying our shoelaces a lot and flipping the finger at our partners behind our backs. I giggled a lot – and that was as much to do with my love of my teammates, as it was my love of the game. I think I played my best match the day after a very heavy night out – the combination of large sunglasses, complete gay abandon and not giving a shit really opened my shoulders. Just shows how much the game can be in your head – remove any pressure (usually self-inflicted) and we all play better.
We played in all weathers. I became famous for wearing 18 layers of clothing, giant bobble hats and gloves. We would ignore a light dusting of snow. The odd bods in their budgie smugglers would peer out of the swimming pool windows to see the ‘weirdos’ out playing tennis in the cold and rain. Now I’m not sure any Wimbledon player has had an audience like that before. It was very off-putting if you were facing the pool, receiving serve. 
My fondest memory is of a good male friend who took up tennis and joined our club. He played many matches, never won, but amused himself and us for many hours berating himself in his gorgeous Trinidadian accent. I had the privilege of playing as his doubles partner when he won his first match. He literally leapt into my arms when we won-it’s a moment I will remember forever! It was as if we’d won a grand slam. 

And that’s the beauty of it. Tennis is a lot of fun, and the great thing is, it’s very adaptable depending on your level. Anyone can play. When I moved here and sadly left my club and team, I got into ‘cardio tennis’ – an exercise class on the court if you will – and that IS fun. No need for accuracy or skill, just enthusiasm and energy. Music, lots of balls, and a fair bit of sweat. And no competition – well maybe a tiny bit depending on your coach. 

So there you have it, it’s a game for everyone. Competitive or not, skilled or not, sociable or not (!). Long live Wimbledon and your traditions, I will be back one day. But for now, I’ll be tuning in for the next two weeks to watch those incredible players make it all look so easy, and then I’ll kid myself I’m better at playing than I am and I’ll want desperately to pick up my racquet again. 


Do you believe in miracles? 

What is a miracle anyway. Something unexpectedly amazing? Something you didn’t think was possible-but then was? A person? A thing? Everything? 
Life is pretty miraculous when you think about it. Do you ever wonder how on earth you’re actually alive? Sometimes I look at myself and I can’t quite believe it. I’m alive. ALIVE. I’m a person, a being, I live, I breathe, I procreated. 

Albert Einstein said “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”  He has a point. I’m very much feeling like everything is a miracle right now. Take today for instance. Let’s put aside that I recently gave birth to two healthy children, my body still functions pretty well despite that, I can walk, talk, eat, sleep (occasionally – ok actually most of the time, I’m blessed with sleepy children), and I sat in a chair in the air 5 years ago and moved my life to the other side of the world. Plenty of miracles kicking around there. 

Today was an ordinary day, one which would have been forgotten probably in a few months, or would have just merged into 100 other ordinary days. We got up, we did all our routine shit. The nappies, the clothes, the toys, the playing, the breakfast, the ‘excursion’ to the local DIY centre which has a play area for kidlets (who’d have thought?). We came home, I tickled one child’s feet on the journey and chatted incessantly to the other whilst playing loud music to ensure NO SLEEPING IN THE CAR. We cannot allow sleeping in the car and I’ll tell you why. Unless we are on a car journey of 2+ hours, sleeping in the car can only mean one thing, NO SLEEPING AT HOME. This is not negotiable, especially given that 5 car sleeping minutes equals at least 1 hour of home sleeping. That is a miracle in itself, but seems widespread in the child community. 

Anyway, I digress. So we get home, do more of the usual shit-stuff more foodstuffs/milkstuffs into said children, watch the miraculously  irritating Teletubbies (that bring SUCH joy?!), and pack them off to Bedfordshire. BINGO, both are sleeping. Time to open the champagne. If only I had some chilled. So I settle for a shower (oh what a miracle THAT feels like), some lunch, and a read of a book. 

Sitting on my bed-my chosen reading spot, I’m in the last throes of a thriller that I’ve actually read before, (but when you have children, all recreational activity memory spills out of your head as you move) so it’s all rather exciting. I then glance down to my left hand, as I’m about to turn the page and gasp something’s amiss. 

It may sound trivial – and I’m not really one to put crazy value on material things, in fact I’m actively not any longer – but I saw that the stone in my engagement ring had vanished. There was just an ugly hole in its place. My heart literally went cold. I actually thought I was dreaming. Amongst the heady world of my children, and surrendering absolutely anything and everything that was ever of worth to me to them (to destroy, at will), it is literally my one treasured possession. It was a labour of love (metaphorically and literally) to make and deliver, it has such a story of love knowing no bounds, with several miracles along the way bringing it to life. I know the story of every part of that ring, all the people who were involved in its creation, and it’s journey across the country and beyond to its final presentation on an island in a tropical paradise. It also knows the story of me since then, having never left my finger. If I don’t take it off, I can’t lose it. But I did. 

I died inside a little. It must be in the bed. I search, no luck. Ok, retrace my steps, home, lunch, milk, nappies, beds – hmm children are still sleeping, a ray of hope it’s sleeping with them. Then the SHOWER. Oh no. And I’m being all fastidious right now and channeling my inner window cleaner after each shower (it won’t last), cleaning the water off. I didn’t see it. But I wasn’t looking for it. Oh fuck fuck fuck. I search, search, search. Comedy crawling on the floor, not trusting my eyesight kind of searching. It’s fucking see through and like millimetres by millimetres in size. Needle in a haystack? Nah, that would be easy

Balls. I went out!! I had no f-ing idea when this thing dropped out. I had to go into sleuth mode. Did any of my friends notice the ring? It turns out yes they did. So my window of opportunity to lose got a teeny bit smaller. But could still involve a 100m walk through the diy centre and car park, the whole of my car and most of my house. Fart. Time to widen the search. Wake up children. Hold on-never wake a sleeping child!!! Ok excruciating wait for them to wake ensues. Followed by urgent food stuffing and car into shoving and safe parental driving. Still no luck. 

Do you tell people-ie random strangers you’ve lost a diamond? Hmm, discussion point for another time. I decided yes. 

Anyway the worst part was having to tell the person who pretty much walked over hot coals, plucked a peacock feather and climbed a mountain to get this rock for me. Eurgh, that was not going to be fun. I’d  never find it. It’s a speck in a world of children crap. And let’s face it, probably at the bottom of the shower drain. *vomit*. 

The bin. OMG it must be in the bin. I put shit (not literally-oh hang on yes I do) in the bin all the time. Gloves on. Nappies-oh goodie. I changed nappies. Yep I checked those. So I bit the bullet and owned up. I sobbed. He was VERY kind. I know he pretty much sold his mother and a kidney or two to get me this thing, so he held it together well. 

He comes home and it’s search again time. We search. And search. And search. EVERYWHERE. I sit in the wardrobe and stare into space. Comprehending the loss of A THING. Is it ridiculous? Or is the sentimental value really that real? Am I shallow? Or does this hurt as much as it feels?

I go back out to face the music, and he’s turning the lounge rug upside down. Oh god. I think, what are we going to find in there? Raisins, bits of Lego, lots of sand(?), considering how much I (think I) vacuum it’s quite unnerving. 

And then. I see something. White. And small (but not that small lol). 

We found it. We fucking FOUND IT. A speck in a world of chaos. 

See – miracles do happen. Every single day. Mine was a big one today (to me) and we’re celebrating with champagne-any excuse. But I agree with old Bertie Einstein-pretty much everything, everyday is a miracle, and I’m grateful for each moment (except when I’m woken unexpectedly from a nice sleep). 

I hope you saw your miracles today.    

You are not old. 

Life is a spectrum – or many spectrums I suppose really, with someone occupying every point along each one. The very tall to the very short; the very poor, to the very rich with everyone in between; the very youngest mother to the most mature – good luck Janet Jackson, you’re going to need it. There is always someone better off (however you choose to measure that) and someone worse off than you. That’s the status quo of life as we know it, however irritating it might be. 

The good thing about it though is that viewing the world in this way opens a world of infinite possibilities. Well goodie gumdrops. Like what? Once upon a time we were more governed by our insular communities. I’m talking pre-interweb and all that. You didn’t hear about the extremes of life so much because firstly there was less of an outlet for people to share – just the 4 television channels in the UK, similar elsewhere I imagine – and a load of crappy magazines, and what everyone else was doing around you. We were so restricted then – or maybe we just felt we were. 

Now, there are programmes dedicated to  people who didn’t know they were pregnant until they gave birth. Not just one person, loads of them!! People with weird addictions (like eating pottery?!), and documentaries galore on the tallest, shortest, fattest, thinnest, richest, poorest people on the planet. Not to mention Google, the gateway to absolutely anything you ‘need’ to know. 

We can gorge ourselves on knowledge – or maybe not ‘knowledge’ in the purest sense, perhaps nosiness and intrigue are more accurate. But here’s the thing; the positive I take from all the chaff that’s out there in our Information Age. You are never ‘too’ old to do something new, change something, become something or someone else. There’s someone out there, older (in mind, body or spirit) than you, doing now what you’re telling yourself you’re ‘too old’ to try. 

If you’re in your 20’s and think you’re too old for anything -pardon my French, but you can fuck off!! No, that’s not very nice is it. It’s all relative. Ok, if you are in your 20’s leap on in – to anything! I heard someone say recently – give yourself the opportunity to make mistakes now, as responsibility does gain weight as you get older, and those mistakes might feel a bit heavier. Now is the time to take big risks. 

In your 30s you’re still blissfully young. And in your 40s and 50s and so on. Be delighted you’re ticking off those years of survival-we’re all heading for one door in the end. Life as we know – despite our (rather successful) efforts to lengthen it in most cases – is very short. 

If you hate your job, change it. If your dream is to paint – then paint. Or to be a drag queen, an ultra-marathon runner, or a tree surgeon. If you want to travel the world, learn a language at 60, learn ballet or be an opera singer – try it! Do it! You never know what you might unlock. One thing is for sure, no one got happier sitting and moaning about how shitty their job is, or musing about lost youth and opportunities missed. 

If you’re thinking – yeah that’s all very well, but I just don’t have time – then watch less television. In trying new stuff news, I’ve decided I’m going to become a yoga teacher. 

Don’t assume that everyone who appears to have done brilliantly in life did it in a textbook fashion and knew what they wanted to do as a teenager. They didn’t. There’s plenty of stories of ‘celebrities’ and business people who found their fame and/or success later in life. Look at the wonderful Mary Berry (for my British readers), or Frank McCourt who wrote Angela’s Ashes – an amazing award winning book – he took up writing at 65. Another little story of triumph – the first ever Kenyan athlete to win a Commonwealth gold medal in a field event learned how to throw the javelin on youtube.

Don’t assume anything comes easily either – but don’t let that stop you going for it, just make sure you try and enjoy the ride wherever you’re going, it’s not all about the destination.

Dream big EVERYONE – dreaming’s not just for the little ones. 

Me and Crossfit

I decided to try Crossfit. I’ve always viewed Crossfit as a bit of a scary unknown – a bit like joining the SAS I imagined. But in the spirit of getting fitter than ever before, I thought – what have I got to lose? 

From my extensive Google research, and extremely un-robust info-gathering exercises, I had heard dodgy stuff about Crossfit. Along the lines of it being really bad for you in a ‘bungee jump can detach your retina‘ kind of way. I’d seen YouTube videos showing ‘terrible‘ technique, and had heard how you can injure yourself easily. 

Why did I want to try this? Well, I get a bit pissed off with the media these days forcing one sided opinions on me, and I like to make my mind up for myself. Tons of people are doing this Crossfit thing, there’s a thing called the ‘Crossfit Games’ so everyone can’t be injuring themselves, surely? And let’s face it, anything to get us fitter and healthier can’t be that bad? Better than sitting on the sofa stuffing my face with Bourbon biscuits (yes, terribly English I know, and you can’t get the blasted things in Australia so mine are shipped in specially). 

So with a hint of fear and a slightly sceptical hat on, I took the plunge and enrolled in a beginner course. So far so good. Turned up day one and first up was introductions. Now I’m pretty au fait with the old introduction game. Years of corporate training courses and 1,000 ‘icebreakers’ later, I generally feel reasonably confident about introducing myself. Except this wasn’t a corporate training course. So the guy turns to me first, and I share my name, a bit about me – an interesting fact, if you will (the small age gap of my children – it used to be having completed a marathon, how times have changed) and my reasons for doing the course. I’m friendly, affable I think, slightly humourous (well that’s debatable) – but I meet dead faces. 

Not even an encouraging nod. 


Next person up, simply says their name and a couple of words like ‘I’m here to get fit‘. I must have missed the brevity/no personality here thanks memo. Yikes. So we’re not off to a blazing start. 

Then the coach starts telling us about some techniques and stuff, and he’s talking about washing baskets and learning to lift correctly. I spot that good old corporate training technique of ‘making it relevant‘ and drift back into my previous life. Anyway, back to it and somehow we have got into a conversation of who does the washing in his household-turns out it’s him. He revealed earlier that he has 2 small kids, and I find my mouth opening and the words ‘well I think that’s fair‘ spilling out after his washing God status has been revealed. This does not seem to sit well either. 

So to sum up, if I was in an interview situation, I think I’d be plonked in the ‘bad personality fit‘ bucket right now. 

We have a go at a few things and it seems ok. I love the interval training/high intensity nature of it all. Being time poor for exercise these days, anything that gives fast results gets an almighty thumbs up. I’d also secretly quite like to be able to do a pull up one day. 

The introductory course was actually pretty good. There was a lot of focus on technique – especially in the weight lifting department – and that was helpful and reassuring. The coaches all seemed very passionate about what they do, and were keen to pass on their knowledge. I liked the variety, the gymnastic elements, and trying out new things. 

Now here’s one thing I don’t like. The jargon! Acronym city. It’s like a secret language. AMRAP, WOD, EMOM… Blah blah blah -this aspect is not newbie friendly and is very off-putting. Why bother? Just SAY THE WORDS! Given they can’t assume at any session that there aren’t any newbies there, they have to say it all anyway! Ok rant over. 

So having graduated from my beginner course and being armed with one learned acronym (WOD-workout of the day) I thought I’d better give this a shot. So I did, and turned up the following Monday for a session which had a crèche for my babies. Except my babies (well baby, one is fine, the other high maintenance) didn’t like the crèche. This made it tricky to say the least and I couldn’t concentrate. But I soldiered on-as it’s very much a ‘just get on with it’ environment. Black marks on your knees anyone? Callouses/blisters on your hands? No one cares! Anyway I digress. I kept trying the crèche with the babies and they did get better. I think we even had one session with no screaming. 

However. I’m not going to continue with Crossfit. Here’s why:

Weightlifting is not my bag. My pathetic excuse is that I’m tall and I’m all leg and no body, and them Olympic weightlifters aren’t short arses for no reason. But really I just don’t like it very much. If you don’t mind callouses and bruises (on your collarbone and shoulders?!) then maybe you’ll enjoy it more. I have come out of it with ENORMOUS respect for people who do weightlift though-it’s MUCH harder than it looks. 

Also, I look to pro’s in a particular sport/exercise regime to see what I could potentially be heading towards body wise if I really stuck to something. A Crossfit body is not my personal goal (not saying it isn’t someone else’s-each to their own) it’s just a bit too muscly for me. If only I was good at dancing…  

 I did take some real positives from it though, and I can see why some people love it and become addicted to it. You can see real progression from when you start and results are pretty quick. It’s hard, but you can scale everything down to where you’re currently at fitness/strengthwise. If you get in with a good group/club, I can see there would be great camaraderie and fun to be had. There’s huge variety, so you don’t feel like you’re just repeating the same exercise every week. It was very supportive and pretty friendly where I went-I just think I stick out as the ‘weird pommy chick’ (translation: strange English girl) and clearly I have way too much to say (hence why I blog…). I can get over feeling slightly awkward and novice if I mostly enjoy what I’m doing, but as I said, weightlifting ain’t for me. 

So onwards and upwards, my next challenge is getting back into yoga. Yes, one extreme to the other. Pull ups will have to wait a little while longer, time for another Bourbon.   

Stop! Mummy time.

We are led to believe (by someone-Who? Who? Let me hunt that imaginary f****r down – because I do believe they don’t really exist), that when we become parents, we somehow get demoted in our own lives and we don’t really matter anymore. A new tiny being is suddenly the most important thing on earth and their cuteness factor makes us all fall for this fallacy. Everyone needs time out, I don’t care how much of a super mum you are, or how connected to your child (or not), we all need time for ourselves. 
I had this opportunity the other day and, oh my word was it marvellous. With the blessing (and encouragement) of my partner, I took myself off to the Sheraton spa in Noosa and got me some pampering. It was divine! My lovely therapist Leah looked after me so well, and I really felt like I had some absolute me time. 

Something happens when you have time for yourself. It’s like recharging a battery that’s been flat for a long time-and the results are pretty dramatic. I felt like I could face anything and I had renewed my tolerance bank (which lets face it takes a battering on a daily basis). I had time to just be, and think about me and my mind and my body. I thought about my kids-for a second-and then lost myself in a lovely massage and chill out in the jacuzzi spa thing. And I had a ridiculously long shower. 

I don’t feel bad for wanting to forget about them for a little while-I give them all of me 95% of the time. But without my 5%, I would become a shadow of myself, and ultimately not the best mum for them. Brow beaten, knackered and fed up does not a good Mummy (or partner) make. 

Before kids I was much more selfish-because I could be, and I don’t apologise for that… I remember it fondly… But it is so easy to forget that and lose your sense of self amongst 10,000 nappies, food on the walls, numerous miscellaneous random injuries (several bent back fingernails/cuts from prams/car seats/rummaging in baby bags and bruises/split lips from accidental child headbutts anyone? Or is that just me…) and piles and piles of washing. I deserve mummy time, and so do you. Mums, Dads, anyone who cares for anyone in fact. Don’t lose yourself, because then you’ll become really boring, and who wants that? Plus-whoever you’re caring for might not need you so much in a few years, and if you don’t keep reigniting your spark, it might just go out altogether. 

It doesn’t have to be a posh spa, it could just be going for a run by yourself or a yoga or dance class or reading a book – whatever the hell you like, as long as it’s for you and just you. And more than once every lunar eclipse. 
Don’t forget who you are because let’s be honest, an enriched happier you makes you able to give more to others. It’s a win win. Go forth and indulge.

Ps this can serve well as an interim measure:


Hair gone!

It’s done! I did it! Big thanks to my beautiful stylist Jade at Silver Salon Gladstone for doing the deed with such care and kindness. The salon have donated the cost of my cut to my cause so I’m extra grateful for their generosity. 
There’s still time to donate if you wish to-

Here’s the before…

The actual moment!!   
And the result! 

  Thank you everyone for your incredible support. It was a massive thing for me-despite probably being rather insignificant in the world today. But I’ve raised lots of money for Parkinson’s which I’m delighted about, and some kids will hopefully find a smile through getting a wonderful wig made with some of my hair. 

Now back to Mummydom! 

Hair going!

Live blogging from the chair. Can you see the fear?  


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