Conversations with preschoolers: Why my son would make a great politician

My husband often says I would make a great lawyer because I have perfected the art of arguing and seldom back down when I think I am right (which is all the time). So it has come as quite a shock to find myself completely stumped when conversing with my just turned three-year-old. While Lach is keen for Max to become a pro golfer and fund our early retirement, I’m starting to think he’d be perfectly suited to a career in politics. Not only is he a master dissembler, he could sell doonas in the desert.

Here’s Maxwell’s guide to stumping Mum/winning an election.

Tip 1: If you don’t know the answer to a question, just avoid it. The key to getting your point across is repetition.
Max: Mum, I want to eat a penguin.
Me: Huh?
Max: I want to eat a penguin.
Me: Why do you want to eat a penguin?
Max: I love them.
Me: So why would you want to eat one?
Max: They taste nice.
Me: How do you know what a penguin tastes like?
Max: I want to eat a penguin.

Tip 2: If you do something wrong, pretend there is nothing wrong with it.
Me: Max, what is that smell?
Max: Poo.
Me: Did you poo in your undies again?
Max: Yes.
Me: Why did you poo in your undies?
Max (incredulous): Because I needed to.
Me: Was it a mistake?
Max: No Mum, I do it on purpose.
Me: Doesn’t it feel yucky?
Max (smiling): No, it feels nice.

Tip 3: When you are in the wrong, blame everyone but yourself. When you have run out of options, go back to the start. The circular argument will frustrate your accuser and they will eventually tire and give up.
Me: Max did you break Mummy’s necklace?
Max: No. Hugo broke it.
Me: But Max, Hugo is asleep.
Max: So?
Me: So how can Hugo break it if he’s asleep?
Max: Wilbur broke it.
Me: But Wilbur is a dog.
Max: So?
Me: How can Wilbur break it if he is a dog and he’s outside?
Max: Daddy broke it.
Me: But Daddy is at work.
Max: So?
Me: How can Dad break the necklace if he’s not here?
Max: Hugo broke it.




The long road to (not) becoming an Aussie

“You probably didn’t like the movie because you’re not Australian.”

It was a simple comment thrown across the table as I enjoyed a champagne-filled lunch with my closest girlfriends. We were debating opinions on The Dressmaker, a movie I disliked but one that my friend absolutely loved. A simple comment that was never intended to insult. So why did it hit me right in the chest?

Perhaps it was because I’ve heard those words many, many times over the last 14 years. And every time I hear “You’re not Australian” I can’t help thinking, how much more will it take?


No I wasn’t born in Australia. I moved here from South Africa at the age of 21, keen to start a new life away from the political unrest and rising crime rates of my beloved birth country. I was also in a long distance relationship with an Australian man and wanted to see if we could make a go of it. While I fell out of love with him, my love for Australia turned out to be the real deal so I decided to stay after we parted ways.

Living alone in a tiny apartment with a smelly stairwell and a porn-addicted neighbour was surprisingly fun albeit occasionally disturbing. Sure, there were lonely times when I considered running back to the safety and familiarity of my family but I could never go through with it. Then one morning as I drove to work watching the temperamental Melbourne sun peer through the city skyscrapers I realised why. I couldn’t go home because I was home.

At 31 I renounced my South African citizenship and became an official Aussie. It was a proud day as I donned my “I’m a new Australian” nametag and was gifted with a native shrub and an Aussie flag. My boyfriend and future in-laws cheered me on and when I returned to work my desk was adorned with green and gold streamers, a Victorian Bitter, Vegemite and bottle of tomato sauce. That same year, I bought my first home in Melbourne’s Inner West with “Macca”, a man whose love I would have to share with a 1964 EH Holden.

Not long after, I married him, the son of a sheep farmer whose family ties to the land out in the Golden Plains Shire stretch back six generations. When we decided to get married it never occurred to me to have our ceremony anywhere other than Victoria. Our two sons were born in Melbourne and their first words included “mate” and “cheers”.

I’ve forged a career here working in the not-for-profit health sector, a job that has enabled me to meet Australians experiencing disadvantage and play a small part in giving back to the community that has given me so much. Through my work I’ve had the privilege of learning about Aboriginal culture and traditions from elders and health advocates, enriching my days with conversations and experiences that have left me both inspired and humbled.

South Africa will always hold a special place in my heart. I love taking my boys there on holiday to bond with my family and show them where I spent my formative years. But every time I hit the Australian tarmac I know that I’m exactly where I’m meant to be. Beyond the travel that I love, there is no yearning to live anywhere but here.

Australia is where I got my first job. It’s where I completed my postgraduate studies. Australia is where I married my husband and welcomed my beautiful children into the world. Australia is where I grab a sausage in bread and cast my political vote based on my conscience and vision for an even better country. Australia is where I feel a sense of belonging among our gloriously multicultural and diverse population. Australia is where I have created a beautiful, chaotic and fulfilling life.

No I wasn’t born in Australia but I am Australian. And I still thought that movie was crap, mate.



Returning to work post Hugh – the challenges of being a part-timer

In early July, I returned to work after 12 months maternity leave. I was lucky that my workplace created a part-time role for me because working full-time, studying and raising two kids under 2.5 would have most certainly sent me towards a Britney-style breakdown.

As this was my second return to work rodeo, I decided not to waste my time wallowing in mummy guilt. With house renovations nearly complete and a massive mortgage, I need to contribute to the family budget. I also love my job. My career ambitions coexist with my desire to cram as many toddler cuddles as possible into 24 hours and I’ve (almost) made peace with that.

I knew I’d cry the whole drive to work on my first day back. I knew I would call my mother-in-law 14 times to hear my children’s voices and make sure they’d eaten breakfast/done a poo/had a nap. What I didn’t realise is how much my identity and approach to work would change.

While part-time work is great in aiding work-life balance, it also poses a lot of challenges for new mums. It can be hard to stay relevant as people often view you as the “mummy part-timer” rather than a hard-working, ambitious, kick-arse professional who also happens to be a mum.


At home I love being covered in Playdoh and snot handprints, watching the same Paw Patrol episode 45 times and doing energetic performances of “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”. But at work, I want to be the “career me”, the one who knows her stuff and is a valuable asset to the organisation. I don’t want to spend my part-time years caught in corridor conversations that never extend beyond how I’m going to lose all my baby weight and whether I’m going to try for a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love that everyone asks about the boys. But I also want my colleagues to ask about the projects I’m working on or ask my opinion on things like they used to.

Yes, I know I have gone from managing a team of five and a large budget to managing no-one and having to put in a request for a pack of post-its but I’m still the same person, with the same knowledge and experience.Yes, I may be sleep-deprived and craving a cuddle, but I know my shit.

I know what you’re thinking, quit bitching and do something about it. You’re right. So I’ve started inviting myself to some senior management meetings and I’ve made sure I start up work conversations armed with a heap of research and knowledge. Yes, I may be sleep-deprived and craving a cuddle, but I know my shit.

Another challenge I’ve faced is going from someone willing to work at all hours of the day and night to someone who places strict boundaries on work-time and mum-time. On the two days that I’m home with my kids, I don’t respond to work emails and I stay away from my laptop. I want to be present when my two-and-a-half-year-old creates another fridge-magnet-worthy artwork or covers his brother in stickers, instead of responding to meeting invites and mentally adding to my to-do list.

Part-time work is great but it also comes at a price. Watching less experienced people on the career trajectory you once envisioned can feel like a punch in the gut. Would I exchange the days at home with my kids for a less stagnant career? Absolutely not. So for the next few years I plan to take it as it comes, work my breastfeeding bosoms off and become the best version of my working mum self. I’m a kick-arse part-timer. I’m also a mum.

Hear me roar.

Confessions of an oversharent

Remember me? I’m that chick that started a mummy blog with the intention of writing weekly updates and then forgot all about it. Life has been a tad busy with two little ones 18 months apart. We have also relocated to a coastal town while we renovate our tiny house in Melbourne and I just finished my first semester back at uni since popping out cherub number 2 (fist pump).

The other day I was reading yet another article about how mundane and boring it is when people update their social media accounts with info on their kids. This is an absolute bugbear of mine. You see I am a total unapologetic oversharent. Just this week I posted a pic of my two-year-old riding my 10-month-old like a horse along with an anecdote about how hard it is to convince a picky toddler that a spinach arancini ball is a cookie.

I only have five weeks left before rejoining the corporate world and I am embracing every babycino chocolate moustache, every tentative step as my bubba learns to walk and every cuddle on the couch. Because frankly my dear, I don’t give an exploding baby shit if it bores you. It’s my life in all of its glorious mediocrity and if you’re a friend of mine, it should make you smile rather than roll you eyes and grunt.

So why do I overshare(nt)? Well I’ve thought a lot about that lately. Sometimes being a stay at home mum can feel like you’re living on a remote island with two uncooperative Energiser bunnies who gurgle, scream and spew in the place of conversation. Posting on social media feels like I’m sending a message in a bottle across the sea except that someone actually reads it in real-time and more than often responds. Ok, so it’s nothing like a message in a bottle, I may have been going a bit far with the island anecdote there. But it’s about feeling connected to the world in an age when the phone very rarely rings unless it’s a Namibian asking for my bank details and passport number. The days can feel long and lonely and when you’re investing all your time in two little beings it’s kinda hard not to make them the focus of your life’s commentary. Also living in a town affectionately known as “God’s waiting room” due to the 95yo average resident age doesn’t do wonders for the social life.

As an immigrant with family all over the world, oversharenting also offers a shortcut in keeping the ones that care updated. Believe it or not, not everyone has WhatsApp and I can’t be farked sending personalised emails to 58 relatives. I have a screaming baby to breastfeed and three episodes of Australia’s Next Top Model to catch up on (P.S. I reckon it’s a close one between Izi and the redhead).

Another reason I oversharent – I am crazy, madly proud of my little men. They are delicious, enlightening little dudes and every day I am astounded at the scrumptiousness that Lach and I managed to make. Sure they are no better than anyone else’s kids, they are probably just awesomely average but they are mine and I love them more than salted caramel cronuts.

This time in my life isn’t going to last forever, one day I am sure I will get back to the gym and develop an intense passion for protein balls. Until then, I am committed to boring the bejeezus out of anyone who will let me. Viva la oversharenting!

Toddler taming, naptime nightmares and poo, lots of poo

This week has been less than ideal…which is a parental euphemism for horrendously hellish. Yes, I know it’s only Wednesday but I’ve already felt the urge to put my head in the oven and turn on the gas about 52 times.

I dragged my exhausted lardy butt out of bed at ridiculous-o-clock on Monday to be greeted by Moo’s usual Weetbix throwing and toothbrush refusal. By 9am, it became clear that any attempt on my part to take my eyes off him would be met with destruction.

While trying to get Hugo down for his morning nap, I returned to the living room to find that Moo had fed Wilbur (the dog) four chocolate biscuits, decorated the floor with Krummies breadcrumbs and Superglued his hands together (with the glue I was using to fix the three ornaments he broke last week). The good news was that Wilbur managed to digest the bikkies without throwing up and my nail polish remover freed Moo’s hands with minimal screaming (thanks Google). In retrospect I probably should have left his hands stuck together because in the arvo he ate half a tube of hand lotion for entrée then took one bite out of each apple in the fruit bowl for main course which resulted in him pooping out an apple sticker.

As most parents with littlies would know, naptime is the peaceful sanctuary amidst the chaos when you get to sit down, drink a HOT cup of tea, watch something other than the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and exhale. As suckers for punishment, Lach and I moved Moo from a cot to a single bed over the weekend. As a result, our easy pre-sleep routine has turned into a nightmare. Instead of putting Moo into his cot with a kiss and him rolling over and going to sleep, we now have to repeatedly place him in a horizontal position only for him to pop up like a jack-in-the-box and climb out of bed straight away while either crying or laughing his head off, sometimes doing both simultaneously.


On Monday it took three stories, 30 minutes and 45 lie-downs to get him to sleep…and then instead of sleeping for 3 hours, he slept for 40 minutes (thank you Melbourne thunderstorm). While trying to get him to go back down, Hugo woke up screaming which resulted in me running from room to room alternating between rocking Hugo back to sleep and putting Moo under the covers…over and over again. After an hour, I gave up and Hugo ended up sleeping on my shoulder while Moo watched Sheriff Callie’s Wild West and tried to ride Wilbur around the living room like a horse.

Only one word can describe Tuesday: crap. The daily poop count was Moo: 5, Wilbur:3, Hugo:2. As a result of his overzealous bowel, Moo ended up with nappy rash and the poor bubba screamed every time he sat down so I had a 13.5kg Velcro toddler on one hip and a 7.6kg nearly 4-month-old on the other. Hugo is a poopcrastinator and likes to spend 3-4 days working on a poonami before it explodes down his legs, up his back and all over me. While I was dealing with his epic evacuation, a bored Moo decided to decorate my iPod with black permanent marker and unpack the contents of my handbag and three kitchen drawers. By 11.30am I was praying that naptime would improve…but it got worse. It took 45 minutes and 65 lie-downs to get Moo to stay in his bed and go to sleep. Thank Buddha once he was down he slept for two hours and I had a chance to rest my back and cry into a bowl of cold oats.


In the arvo I thought I would escape the mess and take the boys to the park. After an altercation with a fellow toddler over whose turn it was to go down the slide, Moo perked up and had a ball…until Hugo started squirming for a feed and I had to hall my titties home. Leaving the park was not high on Moo’s preferred list of things to do so after throwing his babyccino all over the sidewalk, he spent the 30-minute walk home screaming blue murder while passers-by gave me sympathetic looks laced with a side of judgement. Needless to say I have never been more relieved to hear Lach’s key in the door when he got home from work. I was even more ecstatic to see his wine club delivery on the porch.


After watching half the Dancing with the Stars finale with a breast pump and a glass of Pinot, I fell into bed at 10pm only to be woken by my hungry cherub at 11.30pm, then 1am, then 3am…

Today I had said, “Please stop putting your car in the scrambled eggs” 13 times before 7am…

Thank God they are cute.

Disclaimer for the mummy trolls: Yes, I know I am lucky to have conceived two gorgeous, healthy boys and am very grateful. Yes, I love them more than anything. Yes, I know there are people having faaaaaar worse weeks than I am. No, I would not change anything about my life. Sometimes one just needs to vent. Yes, I feel better now. 

Letting go of tutus and tiaras

WARNING: This post contains gender stereotyping on a grand scale.

I never had any doubt about wanting children. As a little girl I would cradle my freakishly life-like porcelain doll, rock her to sleep and imagine one day being a Mum.

I’ve always been a massive girly girl. My Barbie collection was epic. Not only did I have the entire Barbie and the Rockers get-up (all band members plus stage, tour bus and instruments), I had Hawaiian Barbie, Ken and Skipper along with a custom Barbie beach buggie and a random Barbie horse on wheels. Despite being mildly pigeon-toed, I donned a pink leotard for ballet classes and stored my enviable hair accessories collection in a tin covered in Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake stickers.

So it’s no surprise that in all of my imaginings, I would one day have a daughter who loved My Little Ponys and shared my ethos of ‘more is more’ when it comes to tulle, bows and sequins.

Barbie and the Rockers

When I met Lachlan my desire for kids grew even stronger. It was only when I saw him rough-housing his nephew that I started to think how great it would be for us to have a son. You see my husband is half-bogan – he loves footy, car-racing, Melbourne Bitter longnecks and is disturbingly attached to his Bintang singlet and knee high custom made ugg boots. Yes I know some girls love camping out on the hill at Bathurst and happily deliver their AGB in toilet blocks that smell like fermented meat-heavy faeces but if a girl had half my DNA, her penchant for UDLs, arm tatts and polyester would be severely compromised.

So my new baby dream was to have the perfect pigeon pair – a boy that could help Lachlan wax his 1964 EH Holden, and a girl that I could hit the Boxing Day sales with.

We were half way there when I delivered our gorgeous little Moo in January 2013. When he arrived in all of his magnificent, howling glory, we were overjoyed. As the months rolled on I discovered that I loved being a ‘boy mama’ – Moo’s increasingly adventurous and fearless spirit entertained me more and more every day and the clothing selection on offer was surprisingly cute and varied. He became my little mischievous prince with the most affectionate and loving nature.

In late 2013 we got the shock of our lives when I found out I was expecting again. Lach was convinced we were having a little girl but I was 75% sure from day dot that another little mister was on the way. At our 20-week ultrasound my intuition was confirmed. Was there a feeling of disappointment when the technician pointed to a doodle? Yes, but it had nothing to do with not wanting another little boy and everything to do with mourning the daughter we will never have.

I gave myself a few hours to let her go and face those feelings that we are never allowed to admit to for fear of being labeled unappreciative. I thought about the ballet lessons I will never take her to, the curls I will never brush and braid and the wedding dress I will never help her pick. Then, after saying goodbye to my little ‘Eva’ (she was going to be named after my maternal grandmother), I focused on the beautiful little soul in my belly and I started to feel excited about all the adventures we would face together.

I also thought about how lucky we are to have conceived two magnificent boys naturally despite being given only a 5-10% chance. I thought about all the people struggling to conceive and all the women who desperately want children but whose life stories have veered in a different direction. And I thought of all the joy my Moo had brought me over the previous year and a bit.

When Hughie arrived on 29 July, I couldn’t imagine wanting anything other than another little man to love. Every week a stranger or a friend says, “You’ll have to have a third, go for the girl!” and I smile and say, “No, we are done. I am incredibly happy with my two boys.” And I mean it.

Moo + Hugh: Becoming a Mum of two under two

So my whole venture into the blogosphere seemed to fizzle when I went back to work part-time. Apologies to all my loyal followers (Dad, Mum, Rach). Now that I’m back on maternity leave, I’d like to give it another crack! So here goes.

I’d like to start this post with a public service announcement: for those of you who think breastfeeding is a contraceptive, it is not. When Moo was only 9 months old, I found myself staring in disbelief at two little pink lines and thinking, WTF? After my initial confusion about potentially giving birth to ‘Jesus the Sequel’, I remembered a rare night out when my in-laws were babysitting and anyway…TMI (sorry Dad).

On 29 July I welcomed our second little cherub into the world – a boy named Hugo (or Hugh/Hughie/Night Owl as we like to call him). After a very difficult pregnancy with crippling pelvic instability, I was overjoyed when the anaesthetist jabbed my spine and Hugo popped out of the sunroof 15 minutes later at a whopping 4.19kgs.


Once again my daily calorie intake while up the duff equated to that of a pre-menstrual hippo, so I am now three buckets of ice-cream away from being able to apply for The Biggest Loser and my BMI is in the “consider gastric bypass surgery” zone. But on the positive side, I have a scrumptious little bub to snuggle and he is rather fond of burrowing into my fat rolls.

Hugo was 10 weeks old yesterday and I am still zoned out in the fog that is early parenthood. Last night he woke at 10.30pm and decided to stay awake for the rest of the night. After the early months with Moo, Lach and I were prepared for the worst so I think I’m coping better with the sleep deprivation this time around. Yes, I still lose my shit at 2am, I forget passwords and find clothes in the dishwasher and peanut butter in the laundry basket, but knowing what I was in for makes it less of a shock to the system.

Even though I look like a 50-year-old bag lady with a dead metabolism and a lazy eye, I am trying to enjoy the early months with Hugo as much as possible. We’ve decided that there won’t be another little McCallum erupting from Mt Uterus so I’ve tried to savour every snuggle and not stress about what we SHOULD be doing too much. Hugo has pretty much lived on my chest for the last 10 weeks and we’ve done everything wrong according to all the ‘baby whisperers’ out there. I’ve rocked him to sleep, breastfed on demand (sometimes every hour) and popped him in our bed in the early hours of most mornings. With Moo I constantly compared my parenting to others and kept worrying about doing the wrong thing and falling into bad habits. I watched the clock and logged every breastfeed and drove myself crazy wondering why everyone else’s 8-week-old seemed to be sleeping through the night while Moo was up 4,5,6 times. My ‘anything goes’ approach with Hugo will soon give way to more structure I’m sure (it’s in my nature) but for now I’m enjoying just going with the flow and he seems to be finding his own familiar patterns without any coaxing.

Moo has adapted relatively well to being a big brother. He struggled when Lach went back to work after 4 weeks off and would throw jealousy-induced temper tantrums that could rival Honey Boo Boo but he has slowly adjusted to having to share my lap with more than the dog and a packet of Tim Tams. At 20 months old, he is turning out to be quite the comedian. If Hugo sleeps too long he brings the power cord over to plug him in. He also loves to dance, decorate the dog in bolognese sauce and escape via the doggy door to embark on backyard adventures that often involve putting the laundry basket on his head and walking into the fence…

Juggling two under two is tough. When they are both screaming at the same time, I wish I was an octopus. But when I have a tough day I remind myself that “this too shall pass” and try to surrender to the glorious exhausting chaos.


Our hungry caterpillar turns ONE!

It has been eons since I blogged, sorry. In December I was sunning myself in Port Douglas and Queenscliff and in January I was in denial about my return to work so avoided the computer. Yes, I am back at work but this post is about far more joyous events – my Moo’s 1st birthday!

We had a fantastic party yesterday surrounded by family and friends which was the perfect way to farewell my year at home and celebrate my baby not being a baby anymore. We got to meet a lot of our friends bubbas for the first time which was so special and the whole day was filled with good food, grog, lollies and love.

We decided to have a Hungry Caterpillar themed party as it’s one of Moo’s favourite books. We also used to call him our little caterpillar because of his very unique way of crawling. Coming from a marketing/events background and being completely anal about everything means I went to town on the lolly/fruit table and other details. I just can’t help myself. I spent many nights in front of the TV glueing pom poms onto party hats, stencilling number 1s and designing canister labels. I was so happy with the end result and I know we will treasure the memories for a lifetime.

Here are a few pics from the party…









Cake: Creative Cakes by Alex
Printables: Ham and Pea (available on Etsy), Me!

Returning to work – finding balance amidst the mummy guilt

From the day Moo was born I’ve second-guessed every decision I’ve made with regards to his wellbeing. While my confidence as a mother has definitely grown over the last 10 months, I am currently facing my biggest challenge yet – trying to balance the ‘mummy me’ with the ‘career-focused me’.

When I headed off on maternity leave last December, I was 80% sure that I wouldn’t be returning to my job. I said my goodbyes with a feeling of finality, wrote a letter to my boss thanking her for her support and was ready to start a new chapter in my life. A year later I am preparing to go back to work three days per week and am wracked with guilt about leaving my precious Moo in childcare, while at the same time feeling increasingly frustrated by my limited career options.


Moo learning to crawl

Most of my reasons for returning to work are practical ones. Alarmingly the money tree we planted in the backyard has failed to fruit and my savings have dwindled down to nearly nothing. Living in Melbourne means we have a mortgage the size of a Rudd’s ego for a house that seems to shrink as the toy box grows. If we are lucky enough to give Max a sibling, Lach and I would have to take up residence in a teepee in the backyard as our second bedroom is the size of a linen closet. And then there’s Moo’s education that we need to start saving for because he’ll be ready for high school before we can blink and dem fees ain’t cheap.

My other reason for returning to work part-time is selfish. I love my job. I love being good at my job. While I’ve adored spending 24/7 watching Moo grow into an inquisitive and entertaining toddler, I do miss the mental stimulation and social interaction of work. My ambition didn’t disappear along with my pert bosoms and flat stomach. I feel incredibly privileged that I get to spend my days singing “Toot toot chugga chugga big red car” and smothering my Moo with smooches, but a part of me is also looking forward to putting on some mascara and immersing myself in something other than trying to wake up narcoleptic Jeff.

My unwillingness to give up on my career aspirations makes me feel guilty, but then I think – why should I feel bad about not wanting to throw away years of study and hard slog to become a professional ironer? I believe that enjoying a stimulating and fulfilling career is essential to my overall happiness and that will make me a better Mum.

But who knows what the right decision is, I certainly don’t. On my first day back at work, I’m sure I’ll be bawling my eyes out in the office bathroom and feeling like the worst mother in the world. But if I stay at home, I think the isolation, cabin fever and monotony will probably make me a less tolerant and imaginative Mum. To clarify, I’m talking about myself here. I don’t think you’re any less inspiring, intelligent and imaginative if you choose not to work. I also don’t believe that you’re a better mother if you decide to stay at home just because you think it’s what you SHOULD do. Life is too full of ‘shoulds’.  Some women are cut out for staying at home indefinitely and some aren’t. My aim is to try and find a happy medium and I’m hoping three days at work and four days at home will be it.

In a lot of ways Australian workplaces are still living in the dark ages when it comes to supporting new mums. I’m lucky enough to have a boss who seems open to me returning to a management position three days per week, but there is still a huge roadblock when it comes to even distribution of parental responsibilities.


Moo and his adoring Dad

My husband is a very devoted and hands-on father. He would love to work four days a week so he could spend one day at home with Moo but as a senior executive for an international organisation, that isn’t an option. The overall sentiment is that Dad brings home the bacon while looking after the bub from Monday to Friday is Mum’s responsibility. So Mum has to either give up her career until the kids go to school or be consumed by guilt and often judged by relatives and friends for going back to work and engaging childcare.

I’d love to see workplaces being more open to Dads spending one day a week at home which would allow more career-flexibility and less guilt for Mum while supporting Dad-child bonding. I know we are making inroads, but we still have a long way to go in recognising women’s value in the workplace post-baby and Dad’s desires to spend more time raising their kids.

As a side note it shits me to tears when I go out on my own and am asked “Is Dad babysitting tonight?”, no one ever asks my husband “Is Mum baby-sitting tonight?” because it’s not friggin’ baby-sitting when it’s YOUR child and spending time looking after your offspring is not baby-sitting just because you’re a bloke, it’s being a parent! Ok, ok, I’ll stop burning the bra now…

I hope in time that mums like me won’t find themselves stuck between a rock and a demotion when it comes to balancing their careers with being loving and nurturing mothers. I also hope that Dads will feel more comfortable broaching the possibility of working part-time so they can share the Mon-Fri parental responsibilities. For now, I guess I’ll just keep lying awake at night trying to find an outcome that benefits the most important thing in my life – my Moo.

The diet ADD merry-go-round

Sorry I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front, I’ve been held hostage by a sick grumpy baby and a uni assignment along with a new addiction to selling stuff I no longer want. So far I’ve sold two books for a total of $4 but I’ve also listed some size 10 dresses on Ebay because every time I open my cupboard I can feel them judging me.

So why this new found urge to purge the house of unwanted items? I’ve decided it’s time to get my shit together and tackle the things in my life that make me miserable. One of these things is a cluttered house. I’m more minimalist than hoarder and given that our house is now overrun by fluffy elephants and stacking cups, I’ve decided to get rid of the crap I no longer need.

Another thing I’ve decided to tackle is the extra layer of fat currently residing around my butt and the pool noodle of dough that is cascading over the waistband of my nana pants as I write this. Enough is enough. I am unhealthily overweight and I hate it. Time to change my lifestyle and get happy.

Over the past six months I have pretty much tried and failed at almost every program out there. It goes a little something like this:

Step 1: I find a new shiny weight loss program and decide to throw myself into it…starting Monday (I decide this while munching on a French Vanilla macaroon and slurping a Jumbo fat white – the missing ‘l’ is intentional). I fill out my weight loss spreadsheet and decide to lose 8kgs before we head to Port Douglas in December. Goodbye kaftan, hello keeners!

Step 2: Monday arrives and I jump out of bed, pop on the gym gear I laid out the night before and get on the treadmill by 5.45am. Yes, I am the champion of Monday motivation. Roar! I eat well all day and go to bed feeling like I’m finally on the path to post-baby hotness.

Step 3: Wednesday rolls in and the alarm miraculously fails to go off. Never mind, I tell myself,  I’ll get to the gym tomorrow. I snuggle into the doona and get a few more zzz’s. I shuffle out of bed at 7am, feed Moo, then start to prepare my breakfast of two boiled eggs with Ryvita. When I open the pantry, I notice the biscuits I bought “incase someone comes over for tea”. I stare at the eggs, then back at the biscuits and decide one little treat won’t hurt. By lunchtime I am covered in chocolate chips and dunking a spoon into a tub of cookies and cream “light” ice-cream.

Incidently, no one has ever come over unexpectedly for tea…

And so it goes…I’m surprised my butt isn’t all shades of blue from falling off the wagon so many effing times.

I started with Weight Watchers. I toddled off to meetings clutching my weigh-in book and stood on an industrial scale in front of 10 other fatties, but by Week 4 I was racking up 54 points instead of the recommended 36, thanks to my friend Lindt Ball and his mate Freddo.

Then I got microwave happy on Lite n’ Easy. I was all about the miniature pikelets for brekkie and frozen meatballs for lunch but ended up ripping open Day 7’s snack bag on Day 2. Those date biscuits were calling my name.

Frustrated and rotund, I decided that Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation (12WBT) was going to change my life. I did all the pre-season tasks – cleared out the pantry, created a Pinterest 12WBT inspiration board and stuck a pick of buff Mish with a motivational message on the fridge. This was it (insert fist pump)! I gymed six times a week, ate a Korean beef hot pot that looked like sewer water and spent over $300 a week ticking off Michelle’s extensive shopping list. I felt great! I was in control and losing weight, until…

…the 12WBT ended up being the 4WBT. Yes I lost weight but then my husband went overseas and my gym routine went out the window and I found myself wading through another sea of excuses, munch, munch. All those red-faced burpees and mountain climbers gone to waste. Again.

So what now? Well, after Googling hypnosis for a week, I’ve signed up to Jenny Craig and I start tomorrow. My gym gear is already laid out.

So why do I think it’ll work this time? I’m going to use my mother-in-law as support. She’s successfully lost weight on Jenny Craig and knows how much I am struggling with the extra kgs. I’m also hoping one-on-one consultations will make me more accountable and I’ll be able to discuss the reason I eat too much. I know it’s a combination of boredom, stress and habit but I’ve never really focused on the cause before, only the effect. Until I fix my mind, I know nothing is going to work.

So here we go. Again. Fist pump.

Me in Sydney before I became an oompa loompa, I can't fit my foot into those jeans now.

In Sydney before I became an oompa loompa, I can’t fit my foot into those jeans now.