{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} Why it’s okay to have a favourite child

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Parental guilt is an absolute bitch. It doesn’t matter what you do, nobody gives a shit. You will be made to feel guilty from the moment you push that little sucker out your front bum or from the moment they cut you to pull them out. You will feel guilty if you adopt, you will feel guilty if you had a surrogate. Parental guilt is overwhelming and a real pain in the life.

So here’s a hot tip on one less thing to feel guilty about. I’m going to scream this loud and proud – It is COMPLETELY acceptable to have a favourite child.

I say this because I have three children and at various times they are all my favourite.

My oldest is my favourite. She is wonderful and kind. She is also the one I like taking shopping. She is patient and thoroughly enjoys  the shopping experience. She loves clothes and shoes. She is pleasant and friendly to shop assistants and loves to give her ‘expert’ opinion on whichever outfit I try on. She will happily sit in the car for three hours while we travel to Sydney just to get a bargain at the end of financial year sales. She is my favourite child for shopping with.

The middle born is my favourite. Whenever I go somewhere new I want her by my side. She is approachable and outgoing. She is the first to introduce herself and break the ice. Nothing is too hard and she will dive in head first. At a party she will remember to say thank you and move around the room sidling up to everyone from the baby to the grandpa just to say g’day.  During her first swimming lesson she didn’t hesitate and I didn’t have to negotiate with her to climb into the pool, she just jumped and I only just managed to peel her shoes off her feet before she bounded in. She is my favourite child in new situations.audrey2111162logo

The youngest is my favourite. She is the most charming of all my children and loves to help out. Whenever I cook she plonks herself on the bench (hello parental guilt alert because she will probably fall off) and enjoys passing ingredients and mixing our concoctions in the kitchen. She will spend hours helping me roll dough for school lunch scrolls, she will gently pour milk into the mixing bowl when we make custard or help peel carrots. She loves nothing more than helping me pack and unload the dishwasher and carrying laundry out to the line. She is my favourite helper.

My oldest is my favourite. She is caring. She will bound out of bed on a Sunday morning and look after the younger two by preparing their breakfast and turning on the television so mummy and daddy can have a sleep in.

My middle child is my favourite because she takes pleasure in feeding the dogs everyday and that means I don’t have to.

My youngest is my favourite because she doesn’t rip tissues anymore.

My oldest is my favourite because she loves going to cafes.anni2logo-copy

My middle child is my favourite because she eats just about everything and isn’t fussy.

My youngest is my favourite because she sings twinkle twinkle little star with more gusto than Pavarotti.

See, you don’t need to feel guilty about having a favourite child because they aren’t your favourite ALL of the time.

Think of it this way, you have a circle of friends and you enjoy doing certain things with specific friends. Like I have one friend who I love a coffee and a gossip with, another who I could call night or day for any reason, another for drunken nights  and another for parenting chats.

You shouldn’t feel guilty for realising that each one of your children are your favourite for different reasons. The moment you realise that, is the exact time that you will feel a little less parental guilt burden. Guaranteed.

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{The Nest Opinion} To the little girls from the billboard

In the last few days an Australian Government billboard was removed from Docklands because of threats made to the advertising company responsible for creating it. This billboard was simple insofar as it spoke of Australia Day and the various ways to celebrate the day.girls

It was removed because a few small minded individuals were unfortunately granted the power through the threat of violence to control what we, as the people see. I personally saw two beautiful young girls happily smiling and holding Australian flags. Nothing in the world appeals to me more. I am the mother of daughters and I am a true blue Australian. The idea of little girls, happily celebrating Australia is a wonderful sight. I am ashamed that some people saw this billboard as a problem, in reality it is only those few who are the problem.

I know that some people are opposed to the hijab because they believe it shows oppression of females due to the idea that girls are required to wear them, but unless you have asked every single girl whether it is worn by choice or by demand you cannot judge. Further, I don’t see a circumstance in which a billboard would be removed for depicting two catholic nuns in black habits waving Australian flags.

So I say to the two little girls on the billboard:

I am sorry.

I am sorry your mummy had to speak to you this week about racism.

I am sorry that you had probably told your friends and family about your beautiful face being used on a billboard nearly as big as your house and now it has been pulled down.

I am sorry that some racist, uneducated fool threatened other people and as a consequence your pretty faces had to come down.

I promise that not everyone thinks that way. I am sorry that you might feel unwelcome and like you don’t belong here but this is your home too.

You my darlings, are welcome to be my Australia.You represent the ongoing multiculturalism future of Australia. I hope one day, people won’t even acknowledge the fact that you choose to wear hijabs and instead just see two young girls happily preparing to celebrate our Australia.

The whole point of Australia is freedom. It’s the freedom to get a Southern Cross tattoo if you like when you’re 18 and on schoolies. It’s the freedom to dress how you like. Its the freedom of education. Its the freedom of religion. Its the freedom from persecution.

So little ones, please keep believing in your Australia. I promise not everyone feels the same way.

With love,

An Australia mum.

EDIT: I have since learnt there is a crowd funding page raising pressure to have the billboard reinstated. Hopefully this situation will be rectified soon. Racism should never win.

You can find more information here -> GoFundMe – Aus Day

{The Nest Writes} Empowered.

There is a shit-tonne-load of hatred lately towards Kim Kardashian and her naked selfies. She says she feels empowered, everyone else says nu-uh girlfriend. I am really interested in what makes someone feel empowered. So I am going to channel my inner law student and break it down.
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According to The Oxford Dictionary, Empower means to “make someone stronger and more confident”. On an individual level, empowerment allows someone to feel self-reliant, powerful and resilient. The crux however is how empowerment is interpreted differently for each individual person. Read that again, EACH. INDIVIDUAL. PERSON. Continue reading

{The Nest Opinion} Asking questions about surrogacy and secondary infertility

Today one of our gorgeous Nesters discusses the complex topic of surrogacy, secondary infertility and the damage that can be done when asking women questions about their family plans..  line4 A few months ago, some friends and I had a conversation about having children, and situations in which women have babies by themselves. We discussed circumstances where the right man has not arrived on the scene, but that primal urge to raise a child had become an uncontrollable force. When you couple that with the booming beat of the biological clock and the heady cocktail of hormones reminding you monthly that it’s your ‘birth right’ and you can see the writing on the wall. Having been blessed with a wonderful husband and children myself, my naive curiosity about how women go about this has become quite an interest area for me. When I started looking into it deeper I became aware of entire sperm donor communities that are much like dating sites! Basically, they allow you to connect with willing parties for donation, from a variety of situations (including childless couples), in a safe transparent way.Mutter und Kind During this conversation with my friends the discussion moved to surrogacy and in what circumstances we might consider ourselves able to do that. For me, I just can’t imagine giving up that little bundle – no matter how much I’ve watched friends suffer. Not long after this conversation Lauren Sams ‘She’s having her baby’ flashed up in my iBook store – the purchase was made instantly. It’s written with a strong voice and a quirky sense of humour, but with utter respect for the struggles faced. Without ruining the narrative, a woman (Georgie) agrees to be a surrogate for her childhood friend and her husband who have tried for many years to have a child without success and experience a number of miscarriages along the way. The reason Georgie agrees to be a surrogate is that she is strong in her affirmations of not wanting her own children. So ensues a story that I thoroughly enjoyed for its truth and emotion.lauren sams shes having a baby The problem I have since reading this book is that now I have been left with a restless mind and far more questions. For instance, the main character Georgie raises the idea about why it is that women ‘of a certain age’ (ie in their 30s) are constantly questioned about their marital status (or lack of), and their position on having children. And further to that – why their statement of “I never want to have children” is constantly met with laughter and the placating “you’ll change your mind once you meet the right person”. I’d have to call myself guilty on all counts, my only defence being I’m caught up in my own happy bubble and just want everyone in it. But in all honesty, why do I consider women living differently to me are naturally unhappy? The flip side of that coin is, as a married woman with children, I’m constantly asked about when I am having my next child. People don’t realise that this simple statement can bring a whole new world of pain. As a part of the narrative in Sams’ novel, she touches on the idea of secondary infertility – that is, a woman has been successfully able to bear her own children, but for unexplainable reasons is unable to sustain subsequent pregnancies. While I feel grateful this wasn’t our situation, we do have very close friends that have endured losses in this way. The amazing thing about it is that the primal urge to have children has not diminished in any way for them and they continue to be the strongest most inspiring people we are lucky to have in our lives. But I wonder too, how many of us have innocently questioned women in these situations (without knowing it) about the status of their next child? Is that something YOU are guilty of as well?

The afflicted girl sits in bed and sees result of the test for pregnancy

Maybe this time?

In my opinion the questions or feelings that go along with surrogacy, secondary infertility and child rearing in general are complex and overwhelming. I don’t think the answers are simple, nor that they are necessarily possible. So, in the end I can only offer the following advice. Be kind to your fellow woman – just stop putting the pressure on ourselves and each other. A child, no matter how they are in your life, is precious. They are all little miracles! line4 ABOUT THE WRITER:  Viv is a fiercely independent woman who

{The Weekly Nest} This week bought a new baby, some massive controversy, uncontrollable public sobbing and some crabby apples…

First up, soz team for not posting ‘The Weekly Nest’ last week, I was WAY distracted because my little baby sister was busy being awesome and bringing my new little nephew into the big wide world. She was an absolute superstar and he is perfection in a cute little bundle.

This is Arthur Andrew and he is bees knees, the ants pants, the cat’s meow…

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If you find yourself in a similar situation, welcoming a new little bambino then we found the best way to buy baby presents! All Wrapped Up is this fantastic business that does all the bloody hard work for you! You should definitely head over and take the stress out of your next present buying expedition!

One of the biggest articles we have ever put on the blog was Another Girl is Dead and a Man is Responsible it was reached by over 20,000 of you within two days, it was shared and commented on by many of you. I knew this article would strike a chord, but did not realise exactly how large the reaction would be. I received quite a few messages from people concerned that the article focused too strongly on violence against women and that I did not consider the violence that occurs against men and children.

I have to say that the idea behind the article was simply to bring awareness of just how prevalent the surge in violence against women has become, especially this year. Of course every single person deserves to be safe and protected against violence, men do, children do, women do. I appreciate everyone’s opinions and this was simply mine. stand

I would love to send individual thanks to every single one of you that shared, commented and liked the post. Without your support this article wouldn’t have reached so many people. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The Central Nest sends our greatest thoughts, prayers and hopes to the families affected by this devastating situation.

Another popular article over the last week was an article about Speech and Development Warning Signs in little people. You should check it out, it is always better to be aware of any potential problems that may arise.

20 Secrets of Couples Who Stay Together Forever resonated with a lot of our Nesters! What would you add?couple

I went and watched the Fast and Furious 7 at the cinema this weekend with the hubby-bird and absolutely LOVED it. The hubs had a grin the size of China splashed across his face from about 12 seconds in. It is the perfect date night movie. A good perve for da ladies and the boys die for the fast cars, big machines and testosterone overkill.

Having said that, it was probs not a super intelligent idea to take a hormonal preggo lady to see the fast and the furious 7 when they have such a emotional tribute to Paul Walker at the end, Ermagawd… #‎LookAtThatWeirdoInTheCornerSobbing  ‪#‎AhShitThatsMe‬.. food2

On a different note, if you are looking for creative ways to keep the little birds fed, then you should see our article on  Crabby Apples and Pouting Worms. If you use a little bit of imagination then you can get really creative with healthy eating!

That’s about it beautiful Nesters. As I have already said, I sincerely appreciate your support this week and look forward to sharing more ideas, stories and opinions with you in the future!

have a great week

 

 

{Raising little people} Age gaps between little birdies – is there a right answer?

Everyone has an opinion, like about everything.

So today’s big opinion is ‘Why did you choose to have such a big age gap between your little birdies?’

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I have a beautiful friend that chose to have a big age gap. There is five years between her little birdies and they are very happy, well adjusted children. It is what works for their family.

I have another friend who has 12 months and one day between her little birdies. That’s what works for them.

The talented Donna Webeck has put together an article on Essential Baby about the reasons why she chose to have a big age gap.

Surely, there is no perfect answer and it is simply what works for you and your family?

You can find the link here -> ‘Four things I love about a love age gap and the one thing I loathe’

What do you think Nesters, is there a perfect gap?