Monthly Archives: March 2015

5 stress relievers for frazzled mums

Worried single-mother with son pulling her hair

We have all had THOSE days. The ones that tempt you to keep on driving and not return home. You’ve had a rough day at work. The boss was nagging you for deadlines, the woman who works in your office continues to be obnoxiously rude to you, the canteen ran out of gluten free food, and it took you 2 hours to get home due to traffic. You are dreading facing ‘starving’, whinging, kids when you walk in the door.

Unless you relieve the stress that is wound up like a rubber band, it’s going to soon ping back and it WILL hurt when it flicks you! You can only be stretched so far before everything gives way. Like your favourite pair of undies, they will only stay up for so long.

You need to find simple ways to relieve the pressure before you explode and scream at your boss to take a hike, throw your coffee mug at the rude woman in your office ( maybe even a full one) , or drive up the back of the car in front of you in frustration at the traffic jam.

Here are my top 5 stress relieving ideas :

  • Turn the radio off in the car. This may be the only quiet time you will get all day. Use it wisely. Work through the days problems and leave them in the car when you get home. It’s not the kids fault the woman you work with has insecurity issues which make Godzilla look like your best friend.
  • I cannot say enough about the virtues of a relaxing bath. I cannot say enough about the power of water and how it soothes my soul. It’s one of my number one go-to’s when I am overloaded with life. Maybe it brings back long lost memories of floating safely in my mother’s womb, not a care in the world? Light some sexy candles, throw in an aromatic bath bomb, pour a glass of wine, and soak away…kids, what kids?
  • Revisiting your photo albums is a good stress reliever for the days when the kids are really doing your head in. It will remind you of how adorable they used to be, and all the wonderful memories you are creating each day. Be careful: sometimes this can backfire on a particularly traumatic kid-day. It may make you more annoyed they aren’t still cute, loveable and non-talking.
  • Start a blog or write a personal journal! Even if nobody ever reads it, use it to vent. Write about how much your ex-spouse frustrates you, or the kids not cooperating around the house, the people at work who need personality transplants, and anything else you need to get off your chest. Mine is small enough without more weight to burden it. The act of writing your thoughts and feelings down can be liberating. It’s the modern diary we all used to own as youngsters, except there’s no lock on this one.
  • Cuddle an animal. Any of you who have a dog who welcomes you home with a tail that is wagging so hard it’s almost falling off, know the positive vibes an animal can give you. All they want from you is food, water and love. And for that they’ll give you endless adoration. They won’t talk back, love you even when you look like a bag lady, will keep you warm on a chilly evening, and have an uncanny knack of knowing exactly when you need a hug. Dogs and cats are great for cuddly affection, rabbits too apparently. Not so sure a goldfish will enjoy the cuddles, nor a hermit crab, but hey, whatever makes you happy and relieves stress for you.

Being a divorced super mum is a tough gig. You often don’t have another adult to vent your frustrations to when you get home, so you need to find other ways to offload that stress or you’ll simply burn out., or yell regrettably at your boss.

For the sake of your family, find ways to de-stress regularly. It’s not being selfish at all, it’s necessary for your health.

Remember those favourite undies…you don’t want be caught with your knickers around your ankles because your elastic gave way.

Cinderella, instead of going to the ball, grow some!

Make your own destiny

With the much anticipated release of Disney’s new Cinderella movie, I have pondered this poor young girl’s dilemma and often wondered why the Fairy Godmother didn’t give her some REAL advice. What good was it fluffing her up in a pretty dress, sending her off on a date with a man she’d met once, knowing it was all going to fall apart at midnight ( sounds an awful lot like many of MY dates)?

These days I am a proud divorced mother of 3 , struggling to get through each day while attempting to retain a morsel of sanity. Life isn’t a fairytale at all. It’s real and sometimes as ugly as those step sisters.

What would I tell Cinderella if I was her Fairy Godmother?

  1. Enjoy that teensy tiny waist. As soon as your body spits out a child, you’ll be lucky to see your toes without looking in the mirror.
  2. Don’t you DARE run off with the first man you get serious with! I know this from personal experience. Play around the kingdom for a while.
  3. Cinders, if you think you’re sick of housework now, wait until you’ve been at work for eleven hours and come home to dishes, vacuuming, cooking dinner for kids who probably won’t eat it, scooping dog poo off the lounge because one of the kids didn’t let it outside, and sewing buttons on a shirt that HAS to be worn within 5 minutes notice. And all this within 10 minutes of being home.
  4. Enjoy those animal helpers baby, because once you’re mistress of your own castle, you’re on your own.
  5. Your Step-mother may act  like a saint compared to some Mother-in-laws. Especially if she thinks you’re not worthy of her precious prince in tights.
  6. Enjoy the ball lovey because once the princes and princesses arrive, you either won’t get another night out for 10 years, or you’ll be too tired to get out of your dressing gown. Which leads me to number 7…
  7. Make the most of wearing that party dress. Photo bomb at every opportunity so there’s loads of visual proof that you ever wore such finery. It’s about to go ker-poof. Life eats away the spare change for luxuries like glamorous dresses.
  8. Don’t break into song every six minutes. It’s creepy. 
  9. That chauffeured pumpkin-turned-carriage is going to be a pleasant memory soon. It won’t be long until the tables are turned and you’re the one chauffeuring kids, their muddy friends on the footy team, and a car load of frilly ballerinas.
  10. Those cute singing mice are going to look a lot less cute when they scuttle out of the saucepan cupboard, run up your arm and jump into your lamb casserole, the only thing you had left in the freezer for dinner.
  11. If that prince can’t stand up to his parents now, he never will. Soon your kids will be named Prince Humperbilko and Princess Claudmerelda.
  12. Yes, I know shoes can change your life, but so can a rewarding career and good wi-fi.
  13. You don’t have to BE a Princess to command respect. Act gracefully with kindness and generosity, but don’t let those bitches step on your new shoes.

Bottom line Cinderella, I can bibbity-bobbity-boo you all I can, but is it going to encourage you to be the best version of yourself you can be? Don’t you want to grow, get out of this kingdom, travel, have the opportunity to be independent?

Instead of worrying about going to a ball, how about growing a pair, standing up to that stepmother living in YOUR house, and change your name to something worthy of a title.

You don’t need a prince to rescue you. Pawn that glass slipper, start your own business and soon you can have your own chain of shoe shops, or cleaning businesses, whatever you want.

Remember: a dream is a wish your heart makes, so make it a good one.


Dating after divorce: Will I remember how?


woman getting ready

You have rustled up some courage to jump online and meet new people.

Isn’t it fun and a little bit scary? Boy did I learn a lot about myself during that time: what I’d like in a potential partner, and what I absolutely did NOT want near me.

If you have met someone you hit it off with, he’s not completely ugly, has all his teeth ( I met one with only about 6), and he can string a few sentences together, you might decide to get to know each other better.  Things are about to get even scarier.

What does DATING mean once you’ve been divorced? Is it different from pre-married dating?  What are the rules? Is he a psycho, why is he single? Will he think I am a psycho? How do you manage it with kids? What about sex?

I’ll touch on these from MY dating perspective, but as I am no relationship expert don’t take my findings as gospel, write me hate mail, or report me to social services in your area when YOUR date goes down the toilet.

Is it different from pre-married dating?

HELL YES! I am not the same person I was when I was 22. I have lived almost two decades since then, had 3 children, many disappointments and a failed marriage. Of course it’s different. You and your new man will both have baggage to unpack and deal with. You’ll each have different expectations about relationships, so make sure you have a conversation about this. You don’t want him pulling out a ring box on your second date when you don’t even know if you want a third one!
Being more mature this time around ( some may debate this) , I knew myself better, and knew what kind of person would suit me and my children. I had a few single dates where either I, or both of us were honest about the lack of chemistry. I am too old and practical to stuff around. If it’s not right for you, don’t force it.
The down-side of being more mature is that you may not be as sprightly as you used to be. You want to appear confident and sexy on a date, but are you really feeling it? This may mean brushing the cobwebs off the makeup drawer and tackling a hair styler thingy without burning your ears off. Choose an outfit that’s casual but one you feel great in. Wear those spandex undies if it makes you feel better. Nobody will ever know. ( unless you’re planning on getting further than first base on this date!) If he truly doesn’t like you, then he isn’t one you want to spend time with, so don’t get too hung up on it. There will be plenty more suitors online to fish out.

And smile, it’s always going to be your best asset. Unless you’re the guy with only 6 teeth.

What are the rules?

You’ll have to make this up as you go along as my rules will be different from yours. But here were some of my personal dating rules:

  • NEVER meet them at your own home initially. There are too many stalkers and pervs out there who prey on naive people. Be smart and careful.
  • I am old fashioned, he should still pay the bill! Boo me if you must, but I like a bit of chivalry and a take charge attitude. It shows me he’s confident.
  • I never met anyone I hadn’t chatted with for a bit online first. At the very least, a few conversations over as many days. Anyone who asks for a meet up after only a ‘howdy’, is probably NOT looking to help you wash your car in a couple of months time.
  • I was never keen on a first date kiss, though I admit to caving on a couple of occasions. One fellow who was rather nice, had a lovely dinner date with and great conversation, shared a few kisses at the end then mentioned he hoped his ‘separated wife’ wouldn’t smell my perfume on him as they still slept in the same bed at home because the children didn’t know yet! WHAT??? I hightailed it very quickly out of there after that and didn’t cave on a first date again. If someone is interested, they’ll stick around. I can personally vouch for this!
  • If he doesn’t have kids, find out why. And if he doesn’t have kids OR pets…rethink whether he can share his life with anyone. Can you put up with someone who HATES dogs?
  • If he’s still living with his ex, or his mother…get the hell out of there! It screams either money troubles or mummy troubles.
  • Wait at least a few weeks before introducing each other to kids. That way you may have at least discussed whether the relationship is ‘just friends’ or something else. You certainly don’t want your kids messing up your suitors names if they meet too many, that could just be embarrassing.

Why is he single, is he a psycho? Will he think I am a psycho?

Don’t be so paranoid. He’s probably just as nervous about the whole dating saga as you are. Be open minded and honest.

Being divorced isn’t shameful these days: it means something went wrong, you were honest enough to admit it, mature enough to do something about it, and smart enough to move on.

Though if he was also divorced, I wanted to hear his side of the broken marriage story. If he’d cheated ( would he admit it though?) , eaten fruit loops in their bed, or hated children, I wanted to know.

How do you manage it with kids?

As carefully and tactfully as possible. It was easier for me because my kids went with their father every Wednesday and Saturday evening at that time, so I was able to arrange dates on those nights and my children were none the wiser. But once I met someone and we’d decided to spend more time with each other on weekends etc, it was a whole new ball game. Especially when they also had kiddies. It was a matter of introducing the new ‘friend’ slowly and keeping it casual. My children were old enough to get an explanation that Mum wanted some adult company. Initially my eldest was resistant, but that is probably not unusual. They are trying to work out where they fit in a new relationship and see their mother in a different light…as a woman.

It can be treacherous waters to surf in if you both have children. I have attempted this a couple of times now. The first was a disaster as our parenting styles were so opposite, the second was smoother as our children were similarly aged, but 6 kids was the Brady Bunch!

My only advice is this: If your kids don’t like your new partner or vice versa, it probably won’t last, no matter how hard you try…but that’s exactly the reason you should let it go. There’s a saying ” you can’t force a round peg in a square hole”…

What about sex? 

So you’ve been seeing this guy for a bit ( time elapse will be different for each woman dependant upon morals, desperation or fear) , and it’s now time to ‘sign off on the deal’ so to speak. You are attracted to each other and it’s time to make that decision… do I want to have sex with another man after all these years? Alongside this question will be a host of scary others: what if I don’t remember how, what if I am bad at it, will he laugh at my jiggly bits, and what ‘maintenance’ is required beforehand?

Here’s the deal girlfriends: ( God I hope my mother never reads this!)

You will remember how as soon as he gets to the pointy end of the business. It’s a dance zillions of years old. Besides, he’ll be keen to remind you. 

He’s a man, so he won’t think you’re bad at it. He’s more likely to be over-the-moon to be getting any. Besides, you might just find it liberating being with another man who is NOT your ex-husband. Perhaps you can explore that sensual side of yourself you didn’t get a chance to in your restricting marriage. 

I doubt he’ll laugh at your jiggly bits. He probably has them too. Men don’t seem to see our bad bits like women do. They’re weird that way. 

Pre-maintenance. Here’s where I had some shocks in my research at the time of early dating: ( Dear God, I am begging you now NOT to let my mother read this!) ‘au naturel’ body hair is not considered very sexy these days and maintenance is required. Here are your main choices: shaving, waxing or painful lasering. Not only do you have to decide on which way to go, you also need to make a choice on how much to get rid of. Oh yes, my friends, there are whole beauty businesses dedicated to making your bits as pretty as they can. I am also not just talking female bits too apparently. Do you just trim the edges, make weird and wonderful shapes, or go the whole hog and take it all off. Now, hold on to your undies, as there is also a trend to get yourself smooth, then glue on shiny jewels to make artworks! Yes, it’s true…google it. Prepare to be stunned!
Whatever floats your boat, I am sure your partner will be flattered you’ve made at least some effort to be tidy. 

At the end of the day, the only way you’re going to get better at dating, is by actually dating. There’s no way around it my friends. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and hopefully have some fun with it.
You’ll most likely date a few lemons just for the experience, but this will only highlight when the right one actually DOES appear on your internet screen, and you end up having a 9 hour amazing first date without any hanky-panky, not even a kiss.
Now THAT’S a story to tell the grandkids…

Happy dating girlfriends…stay safe!




Long and short term bucket lists for survival

Bucket List

If you’re anything like me, your days are crazy- filled with work, noisy kids, a never ending slog of housework, pesky bills, killing spiders, dressing pus-filled ingrown toenails, putting ear drops in the dog’s ears, burning dinner, and occasionally breathing.

Each day I claw my way to the end of, is a bonus.

Motherhood is a divine calling, but it can also be a drain on our time, nervous systems, and memory. So I make mental lists to keep track of things for day-to-day survival.

Every morning as I shower ( my peaceful time), I create my daily bucket lists. They are like a before-I-kick-the-bucket-list if I was to die in my sleep tonight. What do I NEED to accomplish, and what would I LIKE to accomplish? These are 2 very different things. Needs, are jobs that must be done to keep some sort of order in my house/work/car/life. Wants, are extras that would be a bonus. Often they are wishful thinking, but if they’re not there, they’ll never get noticed.

Here are the items on my daily needs list today:

  • Close the electricity meter box that has been banging outside since 3 am. Thank you daughter for leaving it open and beginning my day at this hour.
  • Before leaving for work, pay some bills. UGH! How do we survive for another week on just air?
  • Write this blog post. See I am doing well, on number 3 already!
  • Throw down some breakfast. Oh wait, I forgot to buy milk! Change that to a coffee on the go.
  • Put the bins out for rubbish collection.
  • Drive 1.5 hours to work.
  • Stay awake at work, and attempt not to throttle ungrateful, rude teenagers.
  • Drive 1.5 hours home.
  • Take dog to vet and hopefully get away without another $185 bill.
  • Create a culinary masterpiece for dinner. At the very least, remember to buy bread on the way home for toasted sandwiches.
  • Spend time with teenage daughter. Look vaguely interested as she rambles on about One Direction.
  • Tick off some housework, even if it’s just putting dishes in the sink. That may be the extent of it today.

These are the items on my daily want list today:

  • To survive the day.
  • To repaint my chipping toenail polish.
  • To wash my makeup off before falling into bed.


Everyone has one of these, whether it’s a formal one or not. Here is mine:

  • To survive the teenage- hood of my children.
  • To see them become sensible, happy and contributing members of our society. And to call their mother occasionally so she knows they’re still alive.
  • To one day have money leftover when my next payday arrives.
  • To muster the courage to tell some people what I truly think of their insensitive, selfish behaviour. Why was I born so damn nice?
  • To find a mosquito repellant that actually works. Those of you who attract mozzies like a pyromaniac to a candle, will know where I am coming from.
  • To never have to deal with my ex-husband ever ever again.
  • To one day be a Granny and torture their parents by spoiling them and hyping them up before sending them home.
  • To wake up to a clean house, and go to bed with it still looking the same way.
  • Ok, I want to travel just like everyone else, so I’d better put it down or it may not happen. I don’t care where to, as long as it’s luxurious, I am well-fed and there are yummy cocktails at the bar.
  • To win X- Lotto. Better start buying a ticket then.
  • I want to write a best selling novel and become filthy rich, hire a maid to do my cleaning and a personal chef to cook. What? It’s a bucket list, so I can dream can’t I?

I am sure there are other delectables I could add to my long term list, but the short term one is getting antsy. Sigh…story of my life.

No rest for a Divorced Super Mum. Time to don my cape and get onto number 5…

Have a happy day fellow DSM’s!



A guide to dipping your toe into the online dating pool

Online dating concept. Hand & Wine Glass Through Laptop Screen


The thought of dating will send many of you into an almost -coma of panic. Especially if you were married a long time, and previous dating consisted of a burger and coke after meeting through friends at a roller disco…twenty or thirty-so years ago, when the body was pre-kids and the hair less sprinkled with grey highlights.

Once you’ve been married and divorced, you’re not likely to be the spring chicken you once were. Where in the world do you meet someone to spend time with, go to the movies, and ride your Harley with, without looking like a desperado trawling the pub scene alone? It’s often the case that all your friends are at home with their amazing hubbys , slippers and flannelette PJ’s on, chocolate and coffee close by. Perfect pooches on their laps.

Gone are the days of roller discos and meeting friends through your hairdresser’s, painter’s, ex-son-in-law. The world of dating these days, is oh so different my friend.

The new world of dating often takes place initially ONLINE. So you had better get tech savvy. Even teenagers use it as a tool to meet up. It’s an easy way to chat with people safely, get to know a bit about them,  and decide to meet up if you’re interested.

You can even ‘date’ someone without meeting them apparently! One of my students told me her boyfriend lives in another country and she’s never met him. They chat via skype regularly, and this is considered a relationship believe it or not!

Once I talked myself into considering hopping online to see if I’d even be able to gather any nibbles these days, I was mind blown. Getting used to this new way of talking and deciding on someone’s personality, was interesting, eye-opening, often amusing, and occasionally scary.

Here is what my naive little self discovered about the world of online dating:

  1. There are tons of creeps, pervs, stalkers, stirrers, scammers and bored kids on dating websites. But you’ll quickly learn to fish them out. Just don’t give out any of your personal details along the way! Use your noggin’. If it feels wrong or weird, it IS!
  2. There are also many wonderful people online who I have become great friends with, and stayed that way.  Just be up front with what you’re looking for, and honest when you don’t think you’re right for each other. I mean who could be with someone who puts their toilet roll in backwards?
  3. Be honest in your profile write up. You want others to be honest with you. Maybe mentioning your obsession with taxidermy and green M& M’s can wait until your second date.
  4. You don’t have to want an actual relationship to venture on to dating sites. Apparently wanting companionship is ok too ( read into that what you will), which leads me to my next point:
  5. Be VERY clear in your profile what you’re looking for. If you DON’T want a relationship, then say so immediately. Ask early in your chats what the other is looking for. If they are looking for someone to propose to tomorrow and you’re just dipping your pinky toe into the dating pool…RUN! Fast!
  6. If you’re smart, don’t have a profile photo. That weeds out the non serious and creepy, pervy ones. If someone is genuinely interested, they’ll read your profile and contact you based solely on that. OK so I admit to ogling some members of the male species and contacting them because they were cute. I am only human.
  7. You will read a lot of rubbish on profiles: e.g. I like to go for long walks on the beach, and spend hours at the gym. They may as well say, I am so dumb I have to copy the 450 other profiles that have written this, rather than come up with something original.
  8. Some of the profile names will give you a HUGE clue about a personality: Steer clear of MisterFitnFab, MeSexyboy65, Lardarse16. Make sure you come up with something that reflects your personalty in a good way. Remember they’ll be judging you too. Bigbutt69 will get you lots of attention, but perhaps not the kind you really want.
  9. If someone asks, ” do you have a webcam?” , they don’t usually want to look at your baby photos over the internet. I got a couple of shocks along the way.
  10. Beware of profile photos that look like runway models…they have probably been stolen from somewhere. I mean if they looked like that, would they be on a dating site with us mere mortals? Really?
  11. Be photo savvy in general. If the photo looks old, fuzzy, sticky taped together, photoshopped or just wrong, it probably is. Most people want to pick the best one they can, so an old one may mean this is me at my best: when I was 18 years old!
  12. If you hit it off chatting online and decide to meet, do it in a public place. Coffee is always nice and casual, and can be a short date if it’s uncomfortable. Even better, station a friend nearby to accidentally ‘bump’ into when you give her the ‘get-me-out-of-here signal.
  13. “Let’s meet for a drink” may be code for something else. I got caught a couple of times and had to extricate myself from the situation quickly when I twigged what was going on. The pawing hands were a dead give-away.
  14. People will contact you from overseas. They may even become good friends with you. But seriously, it’s NOT a healthy relationship. Someone on the same continent is going to be easier to go to the movies with.
  15. It’s very possible you’ll meet lots of weirdos before you meet some normal people. I once met a guy for a drink at a hotel one night. He was nice, but I wasn’t planning on continuing our contact as I didn’t feel we had chemistry. The next day he went skydiving, broke both ankles and ended up in hospital awaiting surgery. He was annoyed I wasn’t going to visit him and posted such a message on FB. What the? It was a few drinks!

My number one piece of advice: BE WARY AND SMART.

Have fun chatting to people to gain your confidence, decide what kind of relationship you’re looking for, become aware of what kind of person you’re looking for, then take a deep breath and jump in.

You never know who you’ll find. The love of your life may just be looking for you too.

Next: THE PROCESS OF DATING. Otherwise titled Will I remember how?


Downsizing from 3 kids to 2!


How soon can I turn this into a study


The day has come when one of my babies flies the coop. I am no longer needed in a Mum capacity by one of my precious offspring.

Not that he’s needed me for much anyway as I have brought him up to be an independent lad, but the fact he OFFICIALLY  no longer needs his mummy is slightly heart breaking.

He has moved out to live with his father over an hour away, close to where he is going to University.

As he was packing up his room on the weekend, I was struggling to rein in my emotions. He’s almost 19 years old now, but all I could see was my firstborn little boy packing up memories and leaving my nest. When I picked up his first ever teddy, and asked if he was taking it with him, and he ummed and ahhed, I was hit with the realisation that he wasn’t struggling with this decision like I was. ( I made him take it with him anyway, to give to his children. “If I ever have any” was his disinterested reply, which broke my future grandmothery heart.)

To him, it was the start of a new exciting chapter of his life.

For me, though I was feeling emotional, it is also the start of a new adventure: I am down to just 2 children under my roof. That’s only 3 humans to worry about instead of an extra one. There are going to be many changes in our household that myself and my remaining 2 babies will have to get used to:

  • I will only have to budget for feeding 2 fussy children, rather than an extra, more fussy eater. And the remaining 2 don’t mind toasted sandwiches!
  • There will no longer be toothpaste and shaving cream lathered on the sink in the kids bathroom for me to regularly scrub off. Or half a dozen towels left on the floor. Perhaps there will only be 4 now?
  • I can leave open the door to his ex-bedroom ( now my study) without fear that some creature may come crawling out of the mess to eat me. I almost had to disinfect the room after he left. Teenage boys are stinky.
  • There will be less refereeing of fights. Have to ever tried sorting out a 3-way argument? There’s no winning for the referee.  With just 2 left, I can send them to opposite corners to glare at each other.
  • The toilet seat in the kids bathroom should statistically only be left up 50% of the time with one daughter and son left.
  • I can use my own ensuite bathroom without having to put the seat down, as son number 1  regularly used mine stating the other one was too far away ( a few more steps in the other direction!) .
  • I will more than likely not use my entire monthly allowance of internet in 2 weeks, finally! A teenager at home for 3 months with a Playstation, is a deadly combination for capped net usage.
  • My water bill will be cut considerably. I don’t know how standing in a shower for half an hour can even be enjoyable!
  • I will no longer need to do the “please pick me up from work Mum” run, even though it’s late at night. The same goes for early morning starts. God knows how I got there and back with my eyes only half open some days.
  • I won’t have to pick up jocks and socks from the laundry floor because they haven’t landed in the washing machine when lobbed from the door. I should have installed a basketball hoop over it.
  • There will no longer be a big brother to help the kids with their Maths and I am not a good maths substitute.

I know we’ll get used to the changes quickly, but am I a bad mother for hoping my son doesn’t enjoy being without us too much?

I feel old. And sad. And unneeded. I can feel a wild and crazy pity party coming on.

Except that I have already turned his bedroom into a beautiful girly study! I am so in lurvvv with my new space.

Don’t worry, I am not totally heartless, I still have a pretty pink bed in there for when he visits!