All posts tagged: motherhood

What’s that smell?

My two-year-old darling goes to daycare once a week. She loves it – spends most of the time making dirt pies outside, Mr Biddulph will be pleased to hear, and I’m always thrilled to see how much dirt her clothes have managed to carry home. That statement’s not tongue-in-cheek, by the way. I really am stoked to see her grimy clothes, the clumps of dirt secreted in the toes of her shoes, and know that she’s been engaged in some good, old-fashioned play. Each time I pick her up, swinging her into my arms and covering her face with kisses, I notice a strange smell. When I put my nose to it, inhaling at her neck and in her ash-blonde hair, I realise what it is: someone else’s perfume – the lingering fragrance of another woman’s loving cuddles. The evidence of a Jesus-centred (or should that be Jesus-scented?) life is like this, like a sweet aroma that people are drawn to, intrigued by, entranced by, and which even rubs off on them. They take that aroma home, …

My girly girl, pay parity and other thoughts on being a woman.

As the proud mum of a two-year-old girl, I am privy to the whimsical workings of her sweet little head. She is the personification of joy and we have such fun doing girly things together, like dancing around the dining table to the Frozen soundtrack, picking flower petals for a fresh batch of perfume and making “wiggly worms” from pink play doh. Every night as I tuck her into bed, she insists I tell a story with a “princess in pink dress, pink shoes, pink lipstick, riding a pink neigh.” For the record, I’m allergic to pink, so this has been quite a journey and proof that girly girls are born, not bred. So, as we come around to another International Women’s Day awareness campaign, it is her I think of first. “Be bold for change” is this year’s battle cry to achieve equality with men and, in particular, pay parity. And when I think of my daughter as she flits through the room in a tutu with fairy wand waving, I do want that …

6 Things I want to remember when I’m mum to a teen

I have seven years until I can say that I’m mum to a teenager. I shall relish those years; relish the toddler tantrums, the toilet training and shoelace tying. Because people keep telling me that when kids hit their teens, the rules change. Everything changes. Dark clouds form and the light and shade of parenting becomes more shade than light. Well, I don’t know if you’re all being a little bit melodramatic. To be honest, I’m not the sort to worry in advance about these things. I’ll let tomorrow worry about that. But as I engage with you parents of teens, and you tell me what is working for you, there are so many nuggets of wisdom that I’m desperately trying to retain, to file away somewhere in this lackadaisical brain so that seven years from now, on my son’s 13th birthday, I can pull out that file marked, Useful Tips & Tricks for Mums of Teenagers. I won’t rely on my brain, I’ll rely on my blog. Here is the start of a file …

Finding Beauty in the Ashes

I climb in, turn the ignition and drive out our street, our city, allowing these wheels to eat up the distance. My stomach is a piece of dough. Pushed, pulled, beaten, flipped, flattened. It is 4:10pm. I kissed them goodbye: one, two, three, at the front door. Then I climbed into the driver’s seat, alone, no chatter in the back seat, no husband fiddling with the aircon. Just me. It’s warm for October and my cotton singlet top and sunnies feel deliciously summery, the sun still massaging warmth into my pores. My striped red and white tote in the boot has a change of clothes, a pair of pyjamas, a book, my Bible and a box of muesli bars, because I don’t trust hospital food. The road yawns ahead of me, wide and quiet, undulating from bush to townships to crops until I reach the coast and all its blue hopefulness. You’re close now, it says. I’m grateful for the kilometres between us, the peaceful preparation this plane has granted, making malleable the mishmash of …

Why Wait Until 12 Weeks When You Can Share Now?

Some of you will be aware that I’m now working part time for Emily’s Voice, an Australian media campaign that shares stories of real women and families in an effort to uphold the cause of the unborn – in a loving, compassionate and heartfelt way. It’s true that my writing for Emily’s Voice has given me less time and focus for my blog. So I thought I’d share with you one of the many stories I’ve been writing for this wonderful organisation. I encourage you to head over to the Emily’s Voice website too and check it out, see how you can be involved and make a big difference in little lives.   I NOTICED that glamorous mummy blogger Sophie Cachia announced her pregnancy early to friends, family and 121,000 Instagram followers recently. She penned some poignant thoughts in an article for popular media website Mamamia. “Societal norms prevent us from freely announcing pregnancy until after the 12-week mark,” she shared as she also revealed the fact she was 9 weeks pregnant. “I didn’t make the …

Two Victims or Two Gifts

My children have terribly picky eating habits. “Man cannot live on honey sandwiches alone!” I’ve often said to my five-year-old, who laughs and parrots back, “I can, mummy!” A rare breakthrough in the consumption of greens came when a friend bought said child a gardening kit complete with terra-cotta pot, paint and paintbrush for decorating, and a packet of watercress seeds. He painted a face on the pot, planted the seeds and in no time at all “Cresstopher” had grown a crop of lush green hair. The part for motherly rejoicing came when he gobbled down his cress and mayo sandwich – and asked for more. So, you will understand why there is a tray of cress perpetually on our kitchen windowsill and, though I’m no green thumb, it is diligently watered daily. These fine fronds of green line the innards of my son’s sandwiches (along with lashings of mayo), because spinach leaves, lettuce, cucumber or any other green filling is, “YUCK!” I quite enjoy the process. We lay out a bed of cotton wool before …

Thank You to the Abortionist Who Had a Plane to Catch

You walk into the clinic and take a seat beside your boyfriend.
Three other women are seated in the cramped waiting room, one with her mother.
A stack of magazines sits untouched.
There is no music.

The four women waiting for an abortion that day are deathly silent. They look at the floor, at their hands, at the walls. The hush amplifies the voice of the receptionist as she makes phone calls. When a doctor strides in and tells her that appointments must be cancelled that day, his voice is as clear as a heartbeat. Those waiting lean in.

I Was Pregnant at 16 – And My Life Didn’t “Go Down The Drain”

“I was scared to tell people I was pregnant.”

Lucy sits comfortably beside Evie who is asleep, nestled against her hip. The blonde-haired toddler will be two in June. Lucy contentedly strokes her daughter’s hair and begins to share candidly about how she came to be a mother at the age of 16.

“I was finishing year 10 at Queechy High School,” she says.

That’s when she first had suspicions that her expanding belly was more than a bit of bloating. Still, the softly spoken teen stayed tight-lipped until her stepfather noticed the changes and bought her a pregnancy test.

“I already knew what the result would be – I was 19 weeks pregnant!” Lucy laughs.

From Sleeping Rough to Cradling a Newborn

The night of Rachel’s 16th birthday was the first she slept rough on a park bench in Launceston.
It was winter. None of her family called. Her boyfriend said she was a “Slut!” and pushed her out the door.
Sweet 16, it was not.
Rachel slept rough for a week before she started exchanging sex for a place to sleep.
How did it get this bad?

This Undulating Life

She totters on pink legs, her skirt flouncing with each unsteady step. One. Two. Three. Four. Four steps and she plonks her nappy-cushioned bottom onto the floor, lifting her eyes to us for appraisal. Her face is alight with a sparkly mixture of glee and pride. We go wild. Yay! Woohoo! Well done sweetheart! You did it! Hurray! We dance and lift her up and spin her around and sing her name for this new milestone she has made. Over the next week she builds confidence and momentum, taking more steps, balancing for longer, turning corners and gaining speed. Fun and fear have muddled as I’ve watched her navigate table corners and dodge Matchbox cars left strewn on the floor by big brother. This, right now, is such a privileged space to occupy – so privileged that I’m almost afraid to move, to breathe. It’s like I’ve been asked to deliver a precarious tray of Wedgwood crystal champagne flutes from point A to point B, while walking a tightrope, blindfolded, in stiletto heels, with Metallica playing …