{Same Sex Plebiscite} Why you should vote yes

So not sure why you should vote yes on the plebiscite? I got the answer for you….

The main reason you should vote yes is, well because…

It doesn’t affect you.

It really won’t change your life at all.

I think that’s the bit that so many people are missing about this whole thing.

You can still go on living your conservative life. If you vote yes, your heterosexual life isn’t going to change. You will still be married. You will still be accountable to your partner. You will still be your partner’s beneficiary. Your marriage will be no less valid.

But here’s the thing, it won’t change your life at all, but it will change someone else’s life. So much more than you will ever know.

You are gifting someone a chance to have a family that is recognised by all. A family that is happening already. Love is love regardless of how you feel.

You don’t need to necessary support gay rights, but you should support human rights.

By ticking the box and posting back your vote you are giving someone out there the chance you feel validated. The chance to feel love. The ability to see their life no longer covered in discrimination but rather in equality.

So don’t waste your chance to change someone else’s life for the better. Shouldn’t everyone have the right to love?

It won’t affect you, but mate I guarantee your vote will affect others.

Image may contain: outdoor

#samesex
#Lgbt
#voteyes

{The Birthday List} What I have learnt this year

So every year some time around my birthday I complete a list of all the things I have learnt in the last 12 months. It’s far from a comprehensive list (one would hope I learn more than 30-something things a year) but I really enjoy reminding myself how far I have come and what I have come to realise about those around me, my life and more importantly myself.

So here we go the 2017 edit:

  1. You will get a chocolate Labrador puppy who you love madly and will make your every day brighter, but she will eat your shoes.
  2. You will recover from postnatal depression but you will never be the same. Something has intrinsically changed in you forever.
  3. You will be paid actual money for writing. Some might even call you a freelance writer.buganni
  4. Your husband is a solid 10 and continues to make you a better version of yourself.
  5. She who forgets to add baking powder ends up not rising to the occasion.
  6. Your little sister will get married and it will go swimmingly – dolphins and all!
  7. The world will seem quite dark some days but your children will remind you of the sunshine.
  8. Despite the fact you have two children who sleep really well your third will not.
  9. No matter how many times you try, you still hate eggplant.
  10. You will finally convince the hubs that a Kitchenaid and a Thermomix are two very different appliances and you need both.
  11. You learn that you can’t keep expecting different reactions from the same people. Some people are just sucky.
  12. Dumplings are always a good option.
  13. Pelvic floor exercises are no longer an optional way to spend time, they are an essential element to everyday.
  14. You will go on your first cruise, get weird seasickness but love every moment and realise how important girl weekends away are.bugshayne
  15. Hangovers and children are the worst combination.
  16. You cannot please everyone.
  17. Your toddler will use sleep withdrawal as a torture method. You. Will. Survive.
  18. You will basically break your toe while walking up the aisle at your sister’s wedding. I warn you not to look to your other sisters for emotional support, they only offer laughter and sarcasm. Bennett_0509
  19. Even though you thought you had reached premium procrastination levels before, this year you will achieve a whole new skillset. Enter Youtube cute goat videos.
  20. You join the gym and actually like it. Then you get pregnant and nearly pee all the time so stop going. Just promise yourself that you will join the gym after the new baby.
  21. The kids will eat basically anything in a wrap. Keep wraps in high supply.
  22. Pregnancy is tiring. You already knew that, but this time especially.
  23. You will continue to have friends who are closer than blood ever was.
  24. Macaroni & cheese is an entire meal for three children under six.
  25. Letting go isn’t a thing you do once, it is often an action that has to happen over and over again. bugshayne2
  26. Listen to podcasts. They teach you stuff about things.
  27. Despite all the nay-sayers you do wear all seven pairs of your sunglasses on a fairly acceptable rotation system.
  28. As frustrating as studying law is, you are so much closer than this time last year.
  29. Not everything has to be perfect all of the time.
  30. You will still hide in the laundry from your children some days.
  31. Don’t say maybe when you actually want to say no. You’re only hurting yourself.
  32. The heartbreak from missing loved ones never goes away, but it does eventually change to a dull ache.
  33. Some people just let you down but you can’t fix them.
  34. Good coffee matters.
  35. People in power are not always good but the good people don’t always seek the power.
  36. For the second year in a row you will not need any moles removed. Just remember though, you are basically one big mole so don’t get too comfortable.
  37. You are enough.bugcruise

{The Nest Writes} Why I let my daughter watch the news

The world has been quite senseless lately and as an adult I have days where I really am struggling to understand the whys. Having said that, I still find myself aching to know what is happening around the world and who it is affecting.

I have heard that a lot of people are stopping their children from being exposed to the news. That people are blanket banning news from their homes and in particular the eyes and ears of their children.

I am the opposite, don’t get me wrong I don’t sit on the lounge with my six year old and make her watch the graphic London footage, but it is on in the background. Her father and I continue to have conversations about events like those that are shaping our world.

My daughter understands that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that you can’t live your life in fear. She recognises that there are extreme people who don’t represent all people and they choose to do nasty things.

Just last night I had a discussion with her about different faiths and how you can’t simply categorise all people into the same basket. The conversation started because she had heard the term “All Muslims are terrorists”.

We spoke about how the Islamic faith is actually one of the most peaceful religions in the world, but that some people choose to interpret it entirely differently. Much like how some people can choose to read the Catholic bible differently to most.

A six year old has blind faith and she doesn’t see a reason to discriminate or judge others and that is the exact reason why I think it is important for her to see what is happening in the world. I don’t want her to hear parts of news, jokes or judgments from small minded people and think that’s how we should all feel.

I have zero psychological qualifications and to be honest am probably breaking some cardinal rule that I am not aware of but if I engulf her with protection now and ban all news reporting and coverage then how does she build her own impression of the world? airport copy

There are some really horrible things that happen in the world but I can’t change those things. What I can do instead, is to start a conversation with her.

We heard on the news a few weeks ago about a baby that had been abandoned by his mother, so that started a brief conversation about mental health and depression and the importance of watching those around us for signs.

We saw another story about a 13 year old who had reportedly been approached on the way to school by a strange man. So this time we were able to discuss the importance of stranger danger and being aware of our surroundings.

On the news we saw Prince Harry and his involvement in the Invictus Games. So that started a conversation about wounded war veterans and the support they might need when they return home.

We watched an article about childhood obesity rising in Australia so we were able to discuss ‘sometimes foods’ and the importance of exercise.

My greatest fear is that if I protect her too strongly one day she will realise what a lie she has been told. I think it is really important not to raise a naïve little person who does not see the difference between good and evil, and as unfortunate as what it is, if she doesn’t also see bad she won’t be able to appreciate the endless good that also exists.

I want my children to ask questions, I need them to want to justify things that are completely unjustifiable. The reason for this is so they can understand just how unfair the world can be. I don’t want her to grow up believing that everything will go her way because sometimes life doesn’t discriminate the goodies from the baddies but regardless you still have to stay a goodie.

I truly believe that anything that starts a conversation is good, she needs to feel free to approach me about things she hears or how it affects the world around her. Turning off the news only shelters them for a little while and isn’t it better to let them learn coping skills instead?

I would love to hear your opinions, maybe I am completely off-field but in a world that is changing and evolving ever so quickly it’s nice to have an open discussion already on foot about all types of topics with the youngest minds around us.

 

{This is life} Radio Silence

So, the battery in my car died this week. I don’t know how it happened as I refuse to admit loudly to the hubs that he was correct in assuming that I left the lights on AGAIN.

So I am awaiting the installation of a new car battery in the next few days, it has been a frustrating experience, from making sure each time I park my car the nose is pointing in the right direction in case I need a jump start through to the petrol I am using by leaving my car running for fear of it dying again! The most infuriating problem however has been the fact that the auto security on my radio has kicked in and I need a code to restart it. So, because I told the hubs I knew EXACTLY where the car book was and refuse again to admit my failings in all things car-manual-organisation I have been living in silence. Radio silence. headphones

These are the things I have learnt in a week of radio silence.

I can hear fights before they happen.

This one surprised me. Seriously. All of a sudden because I am not distracted in co-song harmony with my gal pal Taylor Swift I can hear the nigglings of a fight between the natives before it even happens. An example was the one time I heard this “Nope, nope, nope. Tis mines piglet”. This was the undeniable rumbling of fisty-cuffs in the back seat. Due to my lack of audio interference I bounced my voice through the cabin and told the kid to return the piglet to the toddler. Problem solved even before it really began.

List it.

On my morning drive to work I have been making lists in my head of all the things and jobs and stuff that I have to get done. Due to the quiet inside the car I have had time to think about paying the phone bill, cancelling the kid’s doctor’s appointment and planning what we will have for dinner. It’s funny how the background radio sound cancels out the ability to think clearly about the mundane.

Grateful.

In the silence I have been compiling a list of things I am grateful for. The silence has given me the ability for mindfulness. Good health, a hard working and loving husband, kids that aren’t arseholes all of the time.

Pelvic time.

When I stop at the red lights or roundabouts I now have nothing better to do than my pelvic floor exercises. I mean 3.5 kids did exactly nothing good for that situation that I look for opportunities when I can.

Call.

I call all those people I haven’t had a chance to speak with lately. For some reason my radio won’t play music but will let me utilise the Bluetooth to call. So hello grandparents, long lost friends and doctor appointments. It’s totes multitasking.

So, while it may not be ideal it certainly has made me aware that sometimes radio silence is exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

{The Nest Writes} What I wish I knew before her

Before having children I thought I was complete. I liked myself, my husband and the little life we were building together. We were two people that together faced the world and lived a life of adventure, travel and snuggly movie nights on the lounge.

Our life was lovely, but we decided not long after being married that it was time we extended our family to include a new little human.

Putting aside the fact that creating a human life is absolutely tremendous and amazing, it is a pretty damn extraordinary that a whole person (or three!) would not exist if my husband and I had never met.

Like most young couples we were excited and nervous to start trying, thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before those little blue lines confirmed that our lives would be changing forever.

I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for the introduction of a child into your life, I know for sure that no matter how many books you read or how many classes you attend that you never will really know the power of a child on your life until you hold your own babe in your arms.

Having been around children my whole life (I was the oldest of five, with my brother being 12 years younger than me!) I thought I was all over it. I knew how to change a dirty nappy, how to prepare a bottle. I knew how to read nursery rhymes and how to wash singlets. They are all the things I knew how to do, but parenthood is so very much more than that. It’s so much more than the things to do, it’s the feels that are the strongest.family

So, I wrote this letter to pre-baby me…

Dear Me,

So, you’re going to be a mum. Congratulations!

I need you to know though, you are about to change in more ways than you will ever really know. Parenthood is overwhelming and suffocating. It is the longest marathon of your life, blended seamlessly with numerous amounts of sprints that are over before you know it. It is empowering and satisfying. Devastating and uplifting.

I think the part you are likely to struggle with the most, is the eternally paramount urge to worry. You will worry about everything. Has your baby eaten enough, does she weigh enough, is that rash normal, is she smiling early enough. That’s the strangest part, the worry begins long before you even held her in your arms. You will worry about the foods you eat during pregnancy, worry about how many kicks you feel, worry about giving your new little person a name and how that name will grow with her over the years.

The worrying during parenthood is completely overwhelming, it never truly ends. To be honest you have always had a moderate level of anxiety that you have managed quite well during your life, but be prepared for the fact that suddenly those anxiety levels are going to be heightened exponentially.

Elizabeth Stone once said that “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I really believe that no truer words have ever been spoken. Once you have a child you are no longer one. There is a part of you that exists outside of yourself.

That is the really difficult thing to get used to, the fact that you are responsible for another entire human life. A few days after her birth, your husband will return to work. The visitors will stop coming. It will just be you and your little pink bundle left alone together. The responsibility you feel will be encompassing, but my darling, so too is your instinct. That’s the thing no one really tells you about. Deep inside, somehow, you just know what to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy! but, somehow you survive. You learn, you develop, you grow.

After a couple of days you will know her tired cry and her hungry squeal. You will learn that she likes to be patted on the back when going to sleep and does not like her feet being touched. You will learn that she likes cuddles but won’t fall asleep in your arms. Like anything it will get easier the more time that goes by.

Darling, the challenges are strong; the lack of sleep is a killer. Everything is worse when you are tired, everything is harder, everything is tougher. I promise though, it doesn’t last forever. One day, when you don’t even realise, it is you who wakes during the night and not your baby. Then the next night the same thing happens until one morning you wake up and realise you both slept throughout the whole night.

I just say, take the time to breathe in those sleepy moments, while it may not feel like it when you are buried in the trenches of sleeplessness, those little moments of you and your baby in the cool hours of the morning will be gone before you realise. The dark mornings are quiet and a wonderfully brilliant time to bond. There is no distraction, just you and your little one.

As they grow the worrying just gets worse, on their first day of school you are likely to cry, not because you are necessarily sad but because you are proud, you are realising your little baby is growing into a unique little person of her own. You will not be able to fight their battles for them, nor make sure everyone is nice. You little person needs to find their own place in the world. Just know though, you have done everything you can to prepare her.

You heart will bound when she takes her first steps, starts to run and learns to jump. Just as you start to think she no longer need you, a little voice will cry out for you in the night and you will be reminded that the little part of you on the outside is still only young and vulnerable and in desperate need of her mummy.

Your heart will break the first time she comes home crying because someone was mean to her. You will want to fight the battle for her and march into the school, but instead you have to teach her to be brave. Teach her to stay strong and teach her to take a stand.

Above all, the most devastating moment of your life will be when she gets hurt. It will literally feel like you are breaking into a million pieces. The pain associated with a sick child is nearly unbearable and you will feel desperately hopeless. on the flip-side there is no moment greater in life than seeing your child healthy and, even more importantly happy.

It is so easy to become engulfed in your new little person but remember those other people around you. Make time to be with your husband. A baby is an extension of your relationship, not the only glue that joins you together. You had a wonderful life together before so work hard to keep that spark alive. It will be hard, but he is worth it. You are worth it.

You will realise how easy it is to make sacrifices for another person. The last piece of cake, the rest of your pay check, the chance to go exploring the world yourself. Funny enough though, the price you pay in sacrifice is nothing compared to what you get in return.

So, my dear, you will never be the same, but you will be a better kind of different. You will learn patience and resilience. You will instinctively become protective of this small little human. You will forever be changed because a little part of you is now roaming around on the outside. Don’t give yourself too many heavy expectations, just aim to raise a little person who is happy and kind. She doesn’t need to be the best at everything, really at the base of it, she just need not be a jerk.

Embrace it the journey. AND remember, sleep is for the weak.

Love from,

Post-child you. 

Audrey&Mama

{This is life} What to do in your dead time

Successful people seems to have this whole time management thing down pat. Seriously, you don’t hear people like Oprah or Richard Branson twiddling their thumbs between meetings and making paper aeroplanes do you?

Well, I reckon, in my highly unqualified yet enthusiastic opinion that these people know how to utilise time in their day for better purposes. You know when you do your things during the day, brush your teeth, drop the kids at school, have a shower and then the little bits of time between doing those daily tasks is a thing I call ‘dead time’.

Dead time is often only a few minutes but it is time that can easily be absorbed by doing nothing, or you know twiddling thumbs and making paper aeroplanes. It took me a while to realise (because I am el-averageo at maths) that just five minutes a day of dead time adds up to 35 minutes a week or nearly two and half hours a month. If you really want to get drastic it is 30 hours a year! So there is 30 hours of your year that is just dead time.

It is unlikely you are relaxing because any good chilling takes more than five minutes to achieve. You’re not likely to be doing anything particularly effective, nor are you likely to be motivated. So, that my friends is where dead time comes in.

You can choose to utilise your dead time in a magnitude of ways. I have recently found that doing a little bit of mental health rehab during my dead time has assisted me greatly.

LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE

I have discovered a love of TED Talks. The talks are brilliant and I literally dare you to not be interested in at least one of the talks. TED talks are based on the philosophy of ‘Ideas Worth Spreading’. These talks range from motivational to emotional, moving to inspirational. The cover form and function, emotion and technology. They are a brilliant way to learn a lot about something in a very short amount of time.

If you like listening then I am sure you could find a podcast that is to your liking. Podcasts are literally everywhere and are the easiest way to find out about anything you have ever wondered about. The topics and content associated with podcasts are varied and often unexpected but informative and entertaining. You can listen to commercial radio or investigations into crime. You can learn about cosmic energy or learn about each song the Spice Girls ever made. They are great to listen to while driving or even vacuuming. Keep you brain active and you will be rewarded – well at least your trivia game will be next level strong.

LIST IT

If you take a couple of minutes of dead time and prepare a couple of lists of things that need to be done you will shortly realise how much of a big difference that can make to you. Just a simple list of house chores or a grocery list can help assist your mind to be clear. I find the simplest list of all is preparing a meal plan breakdown for our family. If I do this I save myself from the ridiculous anxiety of having to think what to feed the family every night, it doesn’t seem like much but it really makes a difference.

list

MEDITATE LIKE A BOSS

Meditation is the simplest way to achieve clarity and possible the best way to utilise five minutes of dead time. There are a bunch of apps that can help get you in your happy place and recharge you quicker than you can say ‘I need 8 hours sleep’. Check out the ‘buddhify’ ‘Calm’ or ‘Headspace’ Apps to get you started.

TAKE ME TO BED

Make your bed. This job literally takes three minutes at the ABSOLUTE maximum and makes you feel good all bloody day.

bed

CLUTTER IN THE GUTTER

Choose a place in your house and chuck the crap. I find the handbag is the el-grando cluttering spot in my house – that or the dining table so I often spend no more than two minutes literally chucking out the receipts and bits of paper that clutter your house and build up without you really knowing. You generally don’t need more than a couple of minutes to really make a big difference.

CUP OF LIFE

Make a cup of tea and just sit. Don’t let it get cold on the bench. Don’t talk a phone call. Just make a full cup of tea and drink it in one sitting. Often as a parent you don’t prioritise the power of a cuppa but those Brits are on to something I am sure of it. In my house we have recently implemented the following motto “first we drink the tea then we do the things”.

tea

LANGUAGE UP

Did you ever think you could learn a language in just a few minutes everyday? Download an app and then just learn a word or two a day. You might not be speaking fluent Japanese within a week but you will eventually get there. Eventually you can improve your skill by reading a newspaper online in the language that you are learning. Just a few minutes can make your tongue more talented.

JOURNAL

Get a journal and write in it. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? Well, all the cool kids are doing it because once you write something it sticks with you. Did you know schools like Harvard actually refuse to let their students take notes on computers – rather telling them to bring a notepad and pen. Write down your feelings, write down your day, heck just write what you are grateful for. A good mind makes for good health.

journal

BE MINDFUL

The moment you recognise how much difference can be made by just doing little things in your dead time the more successful you will be. Being mindful is not something you will learn overnight but I promise once you realise how much more valuable your time can be you will realise its importance and just how quickly it can add up.

 

*IMAGES: Pinterest*

{The Legal Nest} What am I worth?

Today our Legal advice contributor James Horsburgh, Solicitor and Director from McIntosh McPhillamy & Co in Bathurst talks all things Family Law Property Settlement.

James has over 10 years experience and practices primarily in the areas of Family law, Criminal law and litigation. He is a Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law, essentially making him an expert in that field.

James is married and has two children. He is extensively involved in the local community and loves fighting the good fight.
line4

PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – WHAT IS A CONTRIBUTION?

Have you ever wondered how the Courts determine what your contributions are worth when deciding on a property settlement? Well, the Courts take many things into consideration. money tree

Contributions are assessed during three (3) stages of the relationship, these are:

  1. Contributions prior to the commencement of the relationship.
  2. Contributions made during the relationship.
  3. Contributions made after separation.

A question I am often asked is, does the court just look at financial contributions? The answer is no. Ultimately the court looks at three (3) types of contributions, these are:

  1. Financial Contributions
    • E.g a party’s earnings, or money or other assets brought into the relationship.
  2. Non-financial contributions
    • Contributions made directly or indirectly, by or on behalf of a party, to the acquisition, conservation or improvement of any of the property that the parties have.
  3. Contributions to the welfare of the family
    • Contributions made by either party in their capacity as homemaker or parent.

The significance or the weight which is afforded to any particular contribution is a matter for the court. However, in reaching an outcome which is fair and reasonable, it is not sufficient to say that “I have paid for everything, he/she should get nothing!”.

If you want more information about the contributions that you have made to your relationship, please do not hesitate to contact James at McIntosh McPhillamy & Co on 6331 1533 or email him directly at jhorsburgh@mcmc.com.au

James blog