Shoplifting is not considered an after school sport for children
Prams look trashy for shopping once your youngest child is 10
Scary stories are for daddy’s house. Kids don’t need to be spooked by their mothers, they get enough terrifying experiences with step families
Try to stick with one father for all your children, it’s much easier on Father’s Day
Children don’t need to be disinfected with your brandy kisses daily
Try not to pick a boyfriend who has a crush on your teenager
Apparently not every man finds single mother cougars attractive, sometimes we need to put our puppies away; you really don’t need to flash your cleavage at the school Mother’s Day breakfast
Don’t leave your ashtray in your kid’s bedroom
A petticoat is a skirt. End of story
If you find a hot boyfriend, choose a lovely elderly babysitter for your kids
If you’re running late, groom your locks with a fork; make sure you remove the tines from your hair before you pick up
Six o’clock mother medication is not compulsory every day
Be an inspiring mother: When your children think of cranky, belligerent women they think of you
Every time I log onto Facebook or Hotmail or MyTwitFace or any kind of social networking sites late at night when my children are in bed and I’m feeling all alone (cue sad, lonely blues music) and crying into my cask of wine, I see ads popping up tempting me to log on and find my ideal man. The ads read something like this:
Find good looking single policemen in your area. I could dial 000, it’d be quicker and cheaper. When I got burgled recently I had five big policemen on my doorstep within twenty minutes and I didn’t have to sign up for endless emails.
Single and Christian? Find God’s Perfect Match for You. I found God’s matchmaking skills were way, way out. The guy who was apparently ‘ideal’ for me had a head like a brick and lived in Utah.
Come on a singles cruise. Great, so he can throw up on me at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Why am I not excited by these ads?
Today my kidlets and I are heading to the dark side, visiting my oldest friends in the place I grew up. My visa came through and I’m leaving the single mother ghetto to return to my old hood, the leafy tree-lined streets of my youth. I am reminded of this George Eliot quote:
“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
Today I will eat and drink and talk too much and argue with the gals who share my outspoken, feisty view of life. I breathed every minute of my angst ridden teenage years with them. 30 years later I realise I had no idea how much their laughter would sustain me through births, deaths and attempted marriages. Love is basking in the shared joy of old friends on a warm, sunny afternoon.
I’ve just been overseas on holiday. I had a break from the hospitals I work at which really helped me understand how lucky I am. I have a great job, my health, three well kids and tons of friends. The mothers I encounter in the hospitals where I work aren’t so lucky. These women are true champions. If there were a parenting Olympics they would win every medal and no one would question whether they were on performance enhancing drugs. Their events are the unglamorous side of mothering. Aiding your child in hospital is not something they do to gain kudos or attention or to show their children off in public.
These women daily win gold medals for most hours of sleep deprivation, after months spent on fold out chairs beside their children’s beds.
Their silver medals are for enduring what most parents avoid. Watching your child in excruciating pain and not being able to do anything about it except buzz the nurses and doctors for more pain meds is an event I don’t want to be a part of.
They gain bronze for leaving the hospital at all hours, early morning to late at night to find something else for their child to eat or to go shopping for toys that will distract their children from pain when they could be resting.
Some of them even manage to have a shower and brush their hair or put on a bit of lippy. I can’t manage that some days.
They could whinge all day long (I would) but they don’t. They are funny and resilient and strong and they sing and laugh with us when they could be crying in a corner. I feel humble in their presence. They are goddesses walking the earth. I will start a new religion to worship these ladies, and the nurses who serve them day and night.
In 1934, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish commander at Gallipoli, wrote a moving tribute to Anzacs who died at Gallipoli.
”Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives … You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours … you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.”
11 years ago today I was hanging out the washing at 7.45 in the morning, by eight I was in hospital. By 9.30 a specialist turned up the volume on my drip, and an hour later she broke my waters.
“In pain, give me drugs now,” I howled as they ramped up the oxytocin. This labour was a harsh, hot, fast hell.
In a few hours my second beautiful princess was born, a little blue. After a four-hour whoa-to-go rushed induced labour, my five year old had the little sister she’d ordered. She rushed into the room as I sat in a pool of blood on the bed. When the midwife handed my baby back to me after clearing her airways, her big sister held her like she was a doll and looked at me with cocker spaniel eyes. Of course the nurse took photos. I had blood on my hands, a bird’s nest hairdo and wore an old bra. I look like a dopey possum in our happy family shots. Happy birthday beautiful girl.
This woman was an incredible live performer who lived it large. She rocked a school uniform like no one before or since. I remember seeing her at the height of her powers onstage in 1985.
In honour of this passionate woman, check your boobs ladies, or get someone to do it for you.
RIP Chrissie Amphlett, thanks for being a part of my youth.