{This Mad Life, and Us…}

In 1997 I was 16 and listening to a lot of Garbage (the band you guys) and Smashing Pumpkins, I smoked Benson and Hedges, I worked at Kmart before Kmart was cool, I wore skirts so short they’d make your eyes water; with cute t shirts and Converse lace ups and unless you counted Simon Barnacoat kissing my nose in the sixth grade I’d never kissed a boy. Of course that all changed on the evening of the 24th of May, 1997 when spouse stuck his tongue down my throat as we perched on a brick fence on Epping Rd in Lane Cove. It was, by teenage standards, a successful first date.

2 weeks earlier we’d met at a debutante ball. He was partnering a chick I worked with at Kmart. I saw him and knew. They weren’t together and so it didn’t take long for me to bust my way up into his face. And life. And heart. And him, mine. I would love to wind back through 20 years of us; to watch it unfold and fold and the creases and curves and indentations of our life and love. There have been ups and downs and this way and that. The thing is, Spouse and I have grown up as one. Everything one experiences in those crazy years, we experienced together. Rolling around on ovals dying from over consumption of vodka that we’d mixed with diet coke from Maccas. Riding around in buses, going to clubs when Sydney was still open at night. Schoolies week, going to University, jobs that sucked but paid for Vodka, learning to drive, moving out of home, travelling the world and living overseas. Everything I’ve done, I’ve done with him. And sometimes I want to kill him dead and I’m fairly sure he feels the same. I am complicated, like the da Vinci Code. I am really not easy to exist with and he has always taken everything I’ve thrown at him in his stride and managed to make me laugh in some of the hardest moments of my life. He has put up with ridiculous obsessions and fads. He has held me as I’ve thrown up so much I couldn’t walk. He has seen some of the worst parts of me as I’ve drowned in depression and loved me still. He has created life with me. We have woven and built, piece by piece a life worth living. And I know that whatever happens we’ve got each others backs. We aren’t perfect and I wouldn’t want us to be anyway. I want a relationship that’s real and open and honest and that, we have.

Our course, post children our relationship has changed. We can’t spend all day Sunday lying around like we used to after a long Saturday eve. We don’t spend hours talking over meals in restaurants that don’t fit prams or high chairs anymore and we find ourselves outnumbered by the lives we created. We can’t just pop over to LA these days and our conversations are often interrupted by the needs of a small person. But our relationship is not any less important that it was 20 years ago and it will still be just as important in another 20 years. (Unless he finally has enough and I end up under the lemon tree out the back.) We, just, belong together.

Happy Anniversary for tomorrow Babe, you are the macaroni to my cheese. Here’s to another 20 years of this mad life.

{On Security Lemons and being Overwhelmed…}

I am so overwhelmed by life currently.

{Let me quickly interject here though and say yes, I am of course grateful for my life and children and Netflix and all that. I am aware I have an awesome life full of awesome people and gosh darn it I wouldn’t change it for the world. I have to put this little disclaimer here though because if I don’t, invariably someone will come at me, screeching that I’m being an ungrateful bitch and that I shouldn’t be expressing my whelm.}

So now that’s out of the way, holy fuck I’m so overwhelmed. I feel like Apu, buzzing round the quick-e-mart thinking I’m a hummingbird, delirious from sleep deprivation and stress. Life is manic right now and I long for a moment of stillness. I’m on a 24/7 roster at the moment and I can barely keep up. I mean, we haven’t even watched the Riverdale season finale yet.

I never expected this pace you know? Remember when you’re pregnant and a queen at your baby shower, and you smile and nod at these silly people talking about sleep deprivation and fussy eaters and dummy fairies and remembering permission slips and readers and all this other twaddle that won’t ever affect you? Yeah. Fuck. Then suddenly you’re 3 kids deep and you haven’t slept more than 3 hours a night for months, you can’t remember the last time you washed your hair, the baby ate some very questionable broccoli from under the couch earlier, you have to be at swimming at 7.45am and your toddler is insisting on carrying a lemon around everywhere as a security item. Why, seriously WHY is there so much to do/worry about/achieve? And I’m not talking about the cleaning and cooking crap. I mean all this superfluous stuff that sucks you dry and leads to hiding in the pantry chocolate binges. Let us go back to the 80s for a second. The glorious 80s, sunshine of my life; the best decade by far and I will fight you if you disagree. I’m fairly sure that Mum, circa 1983 wasn’t worrying about half the stuff we have to. And whilst some of it, like car safety and not hitting the bottle at 8 months pregnant is good; some of this modern parenting palaver is straight shithouse. Social media, I’m side eyeing you dickhead. Lets be honest hey? We have all, from time to time, felt incredibly inadequate thanks to something we’ve seen or read online, parent or not. These pressures are bad, people. They affect you. Today after wrangling the boys into bed, Phoenix with his lemon; I opened Facebook and was greeted with an article telling me the 5 things I shouldn’t say to my kids; (said them all) and then I scroll down to another article declaring that children shouldn’t be eating birthday cake (they ate cake today and it wasn’t anyone’s birthday; within this house anyway). Sigh. Most of the time I can laugh at this white noise click bait. I can push the staged Instagram flat lays and size 2 baby bodies aside. I can roll my eyes at the bullshit sprouted by judgy fuckers. But other days I can’t. And so amongst the mess and chaos and to do lists and security lemons my overwhelm; overwhelms me more as I question my parenting, my decisions and abilities. Have I shown them enough love today? Did they eat well, drink enough water? Did I provide adequate outdoor time, should I do more school prep for Addison? Why did I eat 3 cherry ripe bars? The list goes on. Of course the easy answer would be to go to ground and flick social media, but I like people. Specifically I like my people. And on those days when you have no adult interaction, the old Facebook at least gives you some of that. I think 80s Mum would advise balance. Some days you ignore the online world and other days you don’t. Or can’t.

Apparently stress, anger and I guess overwhelm is caused by the conflict between reality and belief. Once you accept the reality, the difficulty surrounding it begins to subside. Supposedly. I might not have ever believed life would be as chaotic and busy as it is, but the reality is just that. Maybe, just maybe, at the core of all this, is the idea of just going with it. Maybe if I stop rolling around in the stress of it all, maybe it’ll be easier. Who knows?

Alternatively, there’s always wine.

 

The Six Eggs Lady…

I am the six eggs lady.

 

I knew this to be true already but it became blindingly obvious this morning as I struggled to get out the front door with 3 lunatic children and 45 bags. I was attempting to get to a gym class (yes, that’s another story) and as I stood on our front step with Hendrix tucked under my arm like a giant, gorgeous, wriggling football; bags hanging off every other part of me, keys in my mouth, yelling at the other two to stand by the goddamn car and, “No! You can’t eat the snacks yet; they’re for the creche…..” I realised. I am the six eggs lady. From the facial expression to the children hanging off her, it’s me. Ahhhh, wouldn’t it be nice to not find every moment of life manic? Let me clarify that. Wouldn’t it be nice to not find every moment of public life with kids manic? We are currently in the if it ain’t fenced, designed for kids or in any way involves life threatening implements we’re out stage. The supermarket is the worst. The post office a close second. I strategically planned a recent visit to the PO. I mean, I actually sat and planned it out in my head. I was so stressed about it I had to have a cup of tea and google Zac Efron pictures for a bit. In the end I bit the bullet, drove up there; strapped Hendo onto me, Phoebo got locked up tight in the pram and Addison was dragged along next to me. We speed entered the post office; dodging displays and annoyed old people to get to the counter where I basically yelled what I wanted, paid (after struggling to extract my wallet from one of the 20 bags I had) and got the fuck outta there. See? Six eggs lady.

I honestly believe most of the appeal of having a child free outing is the lack of stuff you have to take though apparently we don’t all carry enough supplies to last through the apocalypse. I recently came across a spirited conversation on a parenting page whereby several expert parents lambasted anyone who left the house with what they deemed ‘baggage.’ These Mums exit their houses on a wing and a prayer, firmly stating anything needed can be purchased and children need nothing bar a drink bottle and quiet confidence. Mind you, over here in the provincial world of us six egg ladies, I prefer not to remortgage the house every time we leave it and like reaching into my ‘baggage’ for a nappy when someone has exploded out of it rather than searching the zoo for an overpriced single Huggies. In all honesty, I’m envious of those who can carry light. I just find that every time I’ve tried it someone has either vomited, deemed themselves dying of thirst/hunger or run off into a sprinkler and returned saturated. So I salute those of you who have espoused the pack-horse life; carry on with your minimalist living you fabulous people.

Some days leaving the house is shithouse hard. In fact, it’s every time. I recently saw a meme about ‘kids aren’t just being kids; they just have bad parents’ or something to that effect. All these people agreeing and you know; there are less than stellar parents out there but there’s also people like Spouse and I, and our friends who are doing our damned best to raise non assholes who are decent, kind and respectful human beings. But here’s the thing; kids ARE kids. They behave on occasion, like assholes. They are developmentally unable to do certain things at certain ages and like to test boundaries. They are not designed to sit and be still, hence why I try my best to avoid situations and places that are not conducive to the sort of fuckery that a bunch of under 5 year olds bring with them. And that is why I am so goddamn flustered. Because in order to leave the house I have to be the six eggs lady. I have to be ready to shut shit down at once whilst still remembering to buy milk and bread.  However for everyone’s sanity it’s important to cross over into the outside world at least once daily. The 4 walls close in very quickly and though the struggle is very real and I mostly appear to be a screeching mess, getting out that door is a relief.

Even if I am the six eggs lady.

In active wear.