Monthly Archives: April 2015

My Gratefulness Day

 

Slippers are like coffee for my feet

I have been seeing many posts on Facebook lately asking me what I am grateful for today.

So I decided it’s time to think about it and appreciate all the wonderful people and things in my world. Bearing in mind we are on school holidays, this may be slightly tainted by the fact 2 children are at home eating their way through the days, and my eldest son ( the one who moved out) has also come to stay during his University holidays, taking over my beloved study.

Today I am grateful for:

  • Waking up. That’s always got to be a good start to any day. I would have been miffed if I hadn’t.
  • Being on holidays. NO 5:30am alarm  and rush to be out of the house by 6:50am, do the OSCH drop off, then drive 1.5 hours to work. Work with teenagers all day, then drive 1.5 hours home. Sigh…bliss.
  • A job that allows me to have school holidays off, and be paid for it.
  • Coffee. Gallons of it. It’s like liquid sanity. It also eventually makes it safe for my children to approach.
  • My Pug. Because even though I have been cranky all day, she still looks at me with those big eyes and squishy face with so much adoration. Or maybe she’s just pleading for more food.
  • My family. The majority of them. Everyone has a member they’d rather not own up to. Mine is no different.
  • Slippers. They are like coffee for my feet. Sigh…
  • Makeup. Nobody wants to have to face me without it. That would be like bumping into a Klingon. ( I am proud I even know what one is!)
  • Rain. Oh how I love rain when I am snuggled inside. Winter is my special time.  Just don’t ask me to go outside and mess up my new hair do.
  • My study. It’s my happy place. Except when a smelly 19 year old son is inhabiting it. Then it turns into a temporary pig sty and must go through a decontamination process before I can venture in again.
  • A man who loves me for who I am and makes me smile every day. Even when I don’t want to.
  • A cat that purrs so loudly it actually makes me feel happy. Until she attacks my couch with her claws, then I am very unhappy.
  • Books. No more do I need to say.
  • No bills in my letter box. If I was doing this in ranking order, this would be at number 1.
  • Hot water to fill the bath I am about go and soak in. With candles and wine.
  • Sparkly shoes. Because you should be grateful for those EVERY day.
  • Nurofen. Just waiting for it to kick away the headache that’s been nagging me all day.
  • Not killing my children who have argued with each other and myself, and whined about how hungry and bored they are.
  • McDonald’s, and the fact it’s my son’s 12th Birthday…this meant he got to choose what he wanted for dinner. A win for me!
  • My children. They drive me crazy, and cause me more stress than they realise, but I love them completely.

That’s more of a list than I thought I’d come up with. I am impressed considering the garbage day I had.

It’s all about perspective and how you face life isn’t it?

“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” Melody Beattie.

What are YOU grateful for today my friends?

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New careers and hobbies

 

make your dreams come true

For some Divorced Super Mums, you may have been an amazing Stay At Home Mum and now need to go and work out of the home to support your family. Being a single Mum is financially challenging, especially if your ex isn’t so good with coughing up child maintenance.

Others may decide they just want to try their hand at something new and make a clean slate for an entire new life.

Perhaps you want to do something you always dreamed of doing, but couldn’t in the confines of your marriage.

HOW EXCITING! So many possibilities. Possibly daunting. But doesn’t that tingle of anticipation sound a bit thrilling and fun?

What is it you have always wanted to be? Maybe it’s an under-water basket weaving expert,  a physicist in Siberia, a Veterinarian for rainbow-bellied snakes ( Aren’t they just stunning?!).

You have experience now, could you consider a Divorce Party Planner as a career? It’s a growing industry as we know! And you have contacts in your address book. If you did not get the sexy stripper’s phone numbers, here’s the perfect excuse to pop them on speed dial!

Have you been stuck in a career rut because you think you have to?

STOP.

You can be all you want to if you really want to!

What’s stopping you from succeeding in your dream job? Money to study? Time? Fear?

There are ways around all of these issues if you are willing. You can apply for study grants, or make part payments and study part time, or online.

If time is your barrier, forget it! I read once; you’ll make time for what really matters.

I also like this one: “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Fear may the be the huge anchor dragging you back. But truly, what is the worst that can happen? That your dream may not be as special as the reality of living it? At least you’ll know! 

I don’t want to be at the end of my life and wish I had lived more, and done more of what I wanted to. Regrets will weigh you down in later years. This is my motto in life:“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” H. Jackson Brown Jr. ( smart man).

Go DO and BE while you can. 

What about a new hobby you’ve always wanted to try? Today there are numerous ways you can learn new things. I learnt how to decorate cakes and ran a business for a while, all from YouTube and online tutorials. There are also plenty of community courses you can look for. You’d be amazed at what some of them offer: motorcycle maintenance, belly dancing for beginners, balloon animals and psychic development, are all courses my adult learning centre offer. Get on to it girl. That ukulele you’ve been wanting to learn how to play, there’s probably a course for that too.

Today, apart from my job in Teaching, I am also a freelance writer, and have been published in some prestigious magazines of which I am incredibly proud. Writing was a childhood dream. I considered doing journalism at University, until my Mum talked me out of it. That’s one time I wish I hadn’t listened to her!

It’s never too late to try your hand at what interests you. I am living proof of that. You never know, one day I may be able to write full-time. Until then, at least I am doing what I love, some of the time.

If this had just remained in the ‘dream’ part of my wish list, I’d never be on the way to accomplishing my goals.

Now is the time to explore your passions.

Don’t wait any longer.

‘A year from now you will wish you had started today’. ~ Karen Lamb

 

 

A Divorced Mum’s Favourite Movies

Laughing brunette wearing bathrobe watching tv at home in bedroom

Life gets busy being a Divorced Super Mum. We are often managing the roles of 2 parents, working outside of the home, and juggling our children’s soccer games and ballet lessons, meals, orthodontist appointments and teacher interviews.

If we do get a spare moment to breathe and relax, it is as valuable as chocolate in a dieter’s colony.

One thing that relaxes me is to sit and watch a movie, usually something I don’t have to use any exhausted brain cells to understand. I have a pile of go-to’s that pick me up when I need it.

Here is a list of my favourite movies that regularly get a go in the DVD player:

  1. Mrs Doubtfire:
    Sigh…what divorced mother doesn’t dream of having an old -fashioned housekeeper like her Grandmother? One who’ll cook way better than she does, and actually get the kids to do homework WITHOUT arguing. I dream of coming home to a clean house, a delicious meal that I didn’t have to shop or prepare for, and organised kids.
    The real tear jerker here is the lengths this father went to show he wanted to care for his children.
  2. Pride and Prejudice:
    Oh Mr Darcy, you can come swim in my lake anytime! Swoon (If I even knew how to swoon) .  Actually it’s the ABC series rather than the movie that is my favourite version. Yes you know the one ladies…The one with sexy Colin Firth and his mysterious scowl.
    The other reason I am a big fan is because Miss Elizabeth Bennet was an independent, sassy lady for her time. Even though she knew her place in society was to marry, she did not accept the first marriage proposal she ever had. I wish I had taken a leaf out of her book, so to speak!
  3. Magic Mike:
    Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey and strippers! Need I say more? Get the popcorn and wine ready ladies, we’re having a girl’s night in! This is never a watch-it-once-movie, so prepare for a magic marathon.
  4. Sound of Music:
    Only a horror movie list would not have this amazing classic on it. You may groan when you hear the name, but I bet you all know the words and watch it when it’s on for the 104th time. I wish the Nuns at my school had been as cool as Julie Andrews.
  5. Who Will Love My Children:
    One of the saddest movies I have ever seen. Grab that tissue box and make sure it’s full. The story of a mother of 10 children whose dying wish is to find them homes before she goes. Morbid I know, but it makes me wonder what I would do in the circumstances. It’s also very grounding and brings me back to what’s important on those tough days.
  6. The Notebook:
    A Woman’s movie list isn’t complete without this treasure. Didn’t we all want a love that would last through thick and thin, and til death us do part? Even though it didn’t work out that way for me, doesn’t mean I can’t still dream…“Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a SECOND CHANCE…It’s called TOMORROW”.
  7. Les Miserables ( 2012) :
    3 words: Hugh Jackman and singing. For me there’s nothing sexier than a hunk who can carry a tune. Especially when he can also bring me to tears with his acting. Apart from Hugh, it’s an amazing film. Anne Hathaway is pretty special in it too.  If musical theatre is your thing  (like it is mine) you’ll be singing along and waving your flag.
  8. Pretty Woman:
    Ok maybe a bit tacky but always a favourite with me. The classic Cinderella story but with hooker boots and drugs. And Julia gets to wear some AMAZING clothes! I’d kill for that red dress, and the black and white outfit with the hat. Richard Gere isn’t my cup of tea, but I can put up with him in this.
    If you’re a Seinfeld fan, George is in it too.
  9. Meet Joe Black:
    A beautiful movie, and not just because Brad Pitt is in it. Another tissues movie, especially if you’re a Daddy’s girl. A touching moral that gets me every time. Did I mention Brad Pitt is in it?
  10. Under the Tuscan Sun:
    Oh how I wish I could have pottered off to Tuscany after my divorce. This is the story of a woman who did just that. An uplifting tale of her journey through grief and finally to acceptance. One day I promise myself to go there and see this beautiful scenery for myself.
  11. How to Lose a Guy in 10 days:
    Can you tell I am a fan of Matthew McConaughey? This film cracks me up. Light hearted look at dating and what lengths men and women will go to. My favourite scene involves a fern. Kate Hudson is hilarious. It’s scary how I actually know some women like that.
  12. First Wives Club:
    Another classic divorce movie. Although I wasn’t jilted for a younger model, I can still see the humour and cheer the Ex- Wives on with glee. Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn and Diane Keaton are amongst my favourite actresses.
    Maybe we could start a club too? Brilliant Divorced Super Mums….BDSM‘s!!!!! Hmm…maybe there’s something in that?

This list is not exhaustive, but these were the ones that jumped into my head first. Maybe a special mention to Bridget Jones Diary for being so ridiculously funny and for the outing of big girl pants. And for having Colin Firth in it, also cleverly named Mr Darcy.

On a different day I might write a different list depending on my mood. I have so many favourites, but today these are my favourite favourites.

Tell me girlfriends, what are you go-to movies that you’ll watch again and again?

It doesn’t even matter if the kids interrupt it because you know all the lines anyway.

Mum, why didn’t you warn me?

Baby shoes on mom's high heels

Becoming a mother is the biggest life changing experience that can happen to a woman. I mean, I knew it was going to affect me big time, but naively, I did not realise just how widespread the impact on my entire world would be. Forever after.

Why didn’t my mother, who had 5 offspring of her own ( Good Catholic family), tie me down and explain some of the things I would shockingly discover on my own?

Didn’t she love me enough to be honest? Or was it an unspoken pact amongst the motherhood to let everyone discover it for themselves? Almost like a silent karma.

These are the things I found so earth shattering I wish my mother had mentioned them before I considered producing:

YOUR BODY WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

Ever. Not even if you lost the extra body meat you may have gained while feeding the baby in your womb.

All of my baby’s left me unique souvenirs of their stay. These were on top of the flabby belly, stretch-marked thighs and for me, bigger and welcomed boobs.

Pre baby number 1, I had a tiny waist. During this pregnancy I had major rib pain, like I had swallowed some kind of medieval torture device that was stretching me from within. Millimetre by painful millimetre. I was continuously uncomfortable as my ribs slowly widened to accommodate the pushing up of my belly. It was agony trying to find a comfortable position to sit in for longer than 30 seconds.

Goodbye slim torso.

Unless I was prepared to wear another torturous device like a corset , this was one of many mama souvenirs.

My 2nd souvenir happened a few months after my baby no 2. She was a roly poly beautiful girl. But as she had a bigger brother, she often had to be carted around in her baby capsule so I could have a free hand to hold his. In those days capsules were clunky things, and with a solid baby in it, it was darn heavy. My wrists began to hurt and fingers tingled. The strength in my hands disappeared. I had developed carpal tunnel syndrome from carting around the capsule, only temporarily cured by excruciatingly painful injections into both wrists and wearing arm splints at night. Always fun when you get up and down to a baby at night.

I mentioned temporarily because I still suffer from it today. And remember her pudgy sweet body every time. Cheers for that.

Baby number 3 gifted me with haemorrhoids. Oh joy. This I had the pleasure ( and pain ) of discovering about 8 months into my pregnancy. If you have ever had haemorrhoids, your groans may be the ones I am hearing now. Another long-term present for my body.

Mum, why didn’t you warn me?

Your emotions will swing more wildly than the pendulum on a grandfather clock. 

From crying at dog food commercials to screaming at the mailman for being 2 minutes late, you’ll probably be a crazy maniac for a while, post baby. And that may never go away!

If your spouse, family, and neighbours thought you were unstable before, wait until they see you sobbing your way through Star Wars.

And if anybody upsets your precious bundle or questions your mothering style, even the most serene individual will turn into a fire-breathing creature ready to chew off a leg.

When your little one marches off to school and waves confidently goodbye, prepare to have your heart ripped out. Get used to being replaced as the top dog in their world, and learn to answer to their teacher’s name. Regularly.

Mum, why didn’t you warn me?

Say good night to your last decent sleep. 

Until the kids move out. Or the schools co-operates and sends them all on camp at once. And even then you won’t sleep because you’ll be worrying they’re missing you, or are too scared to get up to go to a strange toilet without their bunny nightlight.

By the time your kids are old enough to sleep through the night, you’ll be programmed to wake every 2 hours anyway. Good luck getting back to sleep. You’ve now become a light sleeper, listening for any noise that your child has fallen out of bed or a burglar has jumped in the window to steal them.

Then teenagers hit your household and develop a social life rivalling the Kardashians.  You’ll either lie awake waiting for them to get home in one piece , or be waiting for the 3am text to come and pick them up.

Mum, why didn’t you warn me? 

What beauty regime?

Gone are the days you had the luxury of spending time on your hair and makeup before you go to work. You’ll be rushing to throw lunches together and feed the animals. You’ll be lucky to get out of the house with matching shoes and a hair brush for the car.

If you’re a stay-at-home mum, you’re probably not much different. I bet people wouldn’t recognise you if your hair wasn’t in the traditional Mum-style, yanked hastily into a pony-tail because you were trying to keep your toddler from dropping your phone in the toilet.

Face masks, shaved legs, plucked eyebrows, skin scrubs, spray tans…what are they again? It’s pretty much take me as you see me, or back off.

I hear grey hair is becoming a trend. ( What the…? )

Mum, why didn’t you warn me?

Guilt is a nasty squatter

Even if you manage to get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour, there is always something that should be done around the house. We mother’s suffer from this horrid affliction called guilt if things aren’t just right. We seem to have developed this ridiculous notion that we must do it all, and perfectly.

Every week we hear about a new gadget that will make children more super than they already are, if only we could afford the $9028. And “I’m the only one that doesn’t have one mum”, only tightens the guilt belt further.

It’s hard to turn off the G-switch: I’m not feeding them healthy enough meals, I can’t pay that bill this week, it’s going to have to be another home fringe trim, I wish I could take them all on a nice holiday.

Unfortunately the switch turns on as soon as it hears your baby’s first cry and is stuck in permanent mode ever after.

Mum, why didn’t you warn me?

I have come to question that even if my mother HAD warned me, would I have listened?

Probably not.

Perhaps this is the reason the motherhood stays mum on it all along.

Because even experiencing all of these changes that take place in our lives, bodies, hearts , and many other places besides, we’d still do it all over again.

Because that’s what Mother’s do when they love their children.

~Cat Whelan~

 

 

 

 

20 reasons why dogs are better company than husbands

 

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Who doesn’t love a cute snuggly puppy? It provides you with unconditional love, and watching them chase their tail is more entertaining than watching TV.

When we got our beautiful baby Ava, and then Beau, I wondered why anyone needs a hubby ever again?

This is what my puppies taught me:

  1. While they may slobber on you, they do it with love, and a supposedly antiseptic tongue.
  2. They are cheaper to feed. Unless your hubby had a thing for dry doggy food and gravy.
  3. Dog fur is easy to suck up from the couch with the Dyson hand-held. It would take a bulldozer to get my ex to pry himself up and help with housework. Unless there was a sale on at Dan Murphy’s.
  4. Your dog is always excited to see you when you get home and will run in circles of joy. The only time my hubby did that was when you either brought home Chinese food or Dan Murphy’s had a sale on.
  5. Your canine friend will beg for the leash when you mention a walk. My ex had an aversion to any kind of exercise that exerted energy. That included work.
  6. When the dog gasses off, it could smell like a rubbish tip and you’d still think it was cute
    ( Unless you own a pug!). Hubby’s odours were unbearable.
  7. Puppies can easily be kept amused for hours with a chew toy or an empty plastic bottle to chase around the yard. The only time my ex- husband was that entertained was watching  a football game, and his bottle was full.
  8. Your canine buddy won’t screw his nose up when you put the food bowl down, or tell you how horrible the meal is that you just took 2 hours to prepare.
  9. Your little bundle of fur may snore as loudly as a train, but you won’t want to smother it like you did your husband. And maybe not just while he was snoring.
  10. Pooper- scoopering around the back lawn is a quicker chore than cleaning up after a piggy husband. Especially one who was a plasterer and dropped white blobs everywhere and clogged up the washing machine ( the plaster, not the ex-husband) .
  11. A vet visit will be expensive, but not as long-term financially costly as a divorce.
  12. Your pampered pooch will keep your lap warm at night and let you watch Escape To The Country without a single complaint.
  13.  When you need time alone, your pup can be locked outside for fresh air. However your hubby never liked this activity for some reason.
  14. You can cuddle your pooch just because, and it won’t want anything else from you. Unlike a hubby who may think it’s a signal for some adult time.
  15. Walking your dog can be a social outing for both of you. It’s surprising how many people stop to talk when you have a cute puppy in tow. Not so many when you have a scowling husband along for the ride.
  16. Bath time is easier to clean up after with my pooch, than cleaning up after a 6ft 3″ human who can’t see the pool of dirty water on the bathroom floor, or the soap scum around the rim. The puppy I send outside to dry, the ex-husband never seemed to like that either! Who knew?
  17. I don’t need to worry if my doggie gets lost. She has a micro-chip and will be returned safe and sound into my loving arms. If husbands go missing, they always look suspiciously at the wife first.
  18. You don’t have to associate with the puppy-in-laws. Enough said.
  19. If your puppy is a male, you can get his boy bits chopped off without a fuss. Husbands are not so fond of this procedure. Even if they don’t have to wear a bucket on their heads.
  20. When your dog has spent many a wonderful year making loving memories with you, and the time comes to say goodbye to your beloved friend, burying him in the backyard is accepted practice. Not so much with the husband ( see number 17) .

If you don’t have a dog my friends, you’re missing out on the best relationship you’ve ever had.

Who needs a husband, when you have a 4-legged loyal mate?

large group of puppies

10 tips for Working Super-Mums

 

Super Woman Mother Cartoon with Yellow Background.

Like many women of this era, I have to work inside and outside of my home to pay for mortgages, bills, braces, school fees, mobile phones and ever-increasing electricity bills. And for some reason my children insist on eating every day!

By the time I reach home around 5pm, after leaving at 6:50am, I am ready to pass out. And that’s BEFORE I even sniff a glass of wine. It’s exhausting trying to hold the fort together AND do chores around the house. If you’re one of those incredibly super, super Mums who can work a 10 hour day, skip in the door to make a 3 course gourmet feast, and clean up the kitchen while doing a load of washing, we can longer be friends. You’re a freak!

If you’re anything like me ( and I hope you are, or else I may be the freak) , you try to give the illusion you have it all under control, but truthfully, you’re barely hanging on. It’s not easy managing on your own. But it’s sure rewarding when you do!

Here are 10 tips I have discovered to attempt some sort of organisation around the house:

  • Tell the kids you have hidden a set amount of money around their pig-sty bedrooms. They’ll have to clean it to find it all. Put the last bit in a very difficult to find spot. Amazing what bribery/ incentive, can do.
  • We all know there’s a hole in the washing machine where lost socks go to spend their sock days partying. Peg the pairs together before you pop them in so the little buggers can’t run away.
  • Set the kids alarm clocks 10 minutes early so the kids will be ready on time. This only works until they become smart enough to realise your treachery.
  • Sick of finding soggy towels on the bathroom floor? Colour code each kid’s. Then the culprits will be obvious. Just hope they don’t cotton on to the ability to frame a sibling.
  • Ditto with drinking glasses. Mine seem to think we have an endless supply and go for a new one each time they quench their thirst. Trust me, if someone sees someone else drinking out of theirs, they’ll pounce for sure.
  • Have a no TV night. Yes, none.
    You MAY be fortunate enough to get those rooms cleaned! It’s amazing what everyone will find to do when they are ‘bored’. Maybe even combine the money hiding tactic with this one.
    It’s possible you’ll get motivated to clean out that Tupperware cupboard and get rid of the overflow of lids that lost their container 20 years ago.
    Think of the power you’ll be saving if you make it a complete NO SCREEN night! That includes TV’s, Computers and iPods. (Yes it may kill them, but it’ll be peaceful eventually. )
  • Get a slow cooker! There’s nothing better than walking in the door, kicking your shoes off, and pouring a glass of wine to the aroma of an already cooked dinner. The only down side is that you have to remember to get it ready and pop in the fridge the night before, then get it out in the morning and flick the magic meal switch. 
  • If you have family who live close, try to farm the kids and yourself out for a meal. Surely your own Mum will take pity on her grand-babies and make sure they get one decent meal a week.
  • This one I got from FB somewhere a while back.
    Sick of telling the kids to put things away? You’re not alone baby. Some genius came up with this idea…..
    Put the offending objects in a box. To get the objects back, the kids have to choose one of the cards attached to the box. The cards have chores on them!!! Once the chore is performed to your satisfaction, the object can be returned!!
    I told you….genius!
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier than you need to. Before the kids and animals. I can scoot around and get loads of chores done that may take me an hour of dithering when I get home. It’s much like the theory of getting more housework done in the 5 minutes before you’re about to have surprise visitors, than you’ve done in a week!
    The down side of this is that you lose 15 minutes of precious sleep. ( I NEVER SAID YOU’D LIKE THE TIPS! )

Even if you can’t organise your home like the super, super mums, fake it til you make it girl!

I bet you’re doing that already. Just like the rest of us. Never fear girlfriend, you’re in amazing company.

If all else fails…hock your rings if you still have them, and get a cleaner!

But keep smiling, because Divorced Super Mums are incredible whether their house looks like a show home, or one a cyclone has just blown through. We do the hardest job in the world, but wouldn’t have it any other way.