I have spent much of the past two weeks thinking about pressure, perceived and real, and the impact that has on me and the people that I love. I guess the thing I am finding more and more evident is how grossly under-prepared I was for the juggling act of working full-time and having a school age child. It seems my life has become more and more complex in the last 12 years. Back in early ’07 I was living the single life, maintaining a pretty healthy looking body, heading out for wine time on the weekend and basically doing as I pleased with my time. Then I met Mr B Badger and began to share my time with him, we got married, bought a dog, bought a house and did couples stuff – which meant lot’s of trips to Bunnings on the weekend and wine time at home, a mortgage is a great way to stifle a good social life. Anyhoo 2012 saw us welcome Little Boss into our lives and we dropped to one income….fast forward to 2017 and I return to full time work but Little Boss is in Prep and only two days a week so woopity do, not much to organise there. Last year Kindy was ok…little bit of home work, swimming carnival, athletics carnival, assemblies and the like but overall fairly manageable. It’s safe to say that Year 1 has officially slapped my face and told me to wake up to myself. This Term is only nine weeks long and there are seven extra items on my Calendar for School….one is a Circus themed Disco and the other one is Book Week so I will have to whip out the Elna and come up with a snazzy outfit or two for those, Mothers Day Stall, Grandparents Day, Athletics Carnival, Class Assembly, Math’s Challenge and Parent Teacher Interviews….add to that Swimming Lessons, Soccer Training, Home Readers and Home Work, remembering what Uniform is on what day and what the transport arrangements are to and from school. And we don’t do half of what some do in the extra-curricular area….so after I send Little Boss off to school with a super awesome lunch box that will come home mostly untouched, I head off to work. Which is where I leave the best of me – cause they pay me – and then I bring home the tired, grumpy short tempered me who just wants to go and lift heavy things at the gym but after cooking dinner and getting Little Boss to bed all I can muster is a bit of GoT and date with my pillow.
I am going to have to change it up and get a new routine cause this is a cycle that will continue for the next 11 years….if I keep going at my current pace for that long my nervous system is going to look like a pin-ball that keeps hitting all the bumpers.
I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone and I am also grateful that we are able to provide Little Boss with this epic childhood filled with rich and colourful experiences. I am also super thankful for my friends that get to enjoy my animated and colourful language as we each discuss our shared frustrations on our parenting journey. While I am #grateful and #thankful I am also, at times, overwhelmed and too exhausted – mentally and physically – to phone a friend so then I start to beat myself up for not staying in touch with friends and family. It’s a hectic life that we all need to dial back a notch. Maybe the school could jam their homework and ask that kids help prepare dinner instead to learn about food, or write a letter to a person at their local nursing home to practise their writing….actual real tasks that encourage learning rather than columns of words and numbers on a page. Just a thought…anyhoo this has been the best time, just sitting here and typing away, getting these thoughts out of my head. Not my best post but necessary. If anyone reads this anymore, thank you, I appreciate you sticking in there even though my posts are about as regular as my menstrual cycle.
so apparently sweat is bad….so bad that you can now get a panty liner so you avoid those “embarrassing” sweat patches down there. that means there are now pads for menstruation – with different flow rates, with or without wings – pads for that “in-between time”, pads for light bladder leakage – or lbl – , maternity pads, night-time pads, undies with in-built pads and now sweaty vagina pads. I can understand almost all of the many pads on offer but I draw the line at sweaty vagina pads. how sweaty does it get that you need a pad? and I am guessing that if you can see the sweat then the pants must be quite fitted and therefore you run the risk of people no longer staring at your sweaty vagine as they can’t get past the pad you’re wearing. last time I checked sweat is the body’s way of ridding itself of toxins and to trap that in your pants for any length of time could be dodgy at best. I don’t mind a bit of sweat…in actual fact, while exercising, I welcome it as a way to know that I am working hard enough to hopefully turn my two arses into one. most of my gym gear is black – well the pants at least so I am not particularly worried about sweaty vagina patches. in fact I am not really all that worried about much while exercising, least of all is how I look. back in the eighties when it was all shiny tights, G-string leotards and white reebok high tops it was more about the look, less about the input. now it is all about comfort and function – for me anyway. I think these new pads – and yes I know they are referred to as liners but I come from a generation that didn’t have all the choices that are available now, we had the same pads regardless of flow, those same pads did the job at night as well and we dealt with “the in-between time” pad free – so these new pads are just making money for the manufacturer and making exercising women feel that their sweat is bad or embarrassing. embrace the sweat, I say. be proud of your effort and let your sweat show – here are a few tips though if you are genuinely concerned about your sweat patches….never wear grey and always carry a towel.
it’s been that long since I have logged in to barrybadger.com that it will not come as any surprise if even the most faithful followers have switched off – clearly I did. yep, it’s fair to say that I lost my mojo. I took my daily list off the fridge and in doing so fell into a big rut. where the hell have I been? my normally healthy diet has gone out the window…turns out it’s cheaper to eat rubbish food than it is to buy fresh, I haven’t done any exercise in….I don’t know how long and I am starting to feel like a couple of days at work would be a blessing right now. so what’s changed? why have I turned into this pitiful picture of self loathing? who knows. what I do know is that it’s pretty damn hard to get some mojo while carrying around a 13 kilo clip on koala. the authors of the wonder weeks say that as a baby or toddler prepare to make a new leap in development they experience the three c’s cranky, crying and clingy….they got it right, cause we’ve got it going on here in spades. it happens every time there is a new leap to experience but this time the clingy part is off the charts and I have the wounds on my flesh to prove it. I get excited every day awaiting the arrival of Mr B Badger.com so that little boss can remove herself from me even for a brief trip to the toilet – on my own – however despite squealing with excitement at the sound of the garage door she refuses to let go of me and is just happy to enjoy her father’s company from the comfort of my chest. don’t get me wrong…I love it that she wants to be with me…it’s nice to be wanted and loved…I would just like her to share the love a little bit.
since my last post we have celebrated little boss’ first birthday, she is walking all the time and trying to bust into a run, she has five fangs and has become extremely cheeky and loves doing all the things she knows she is not allowed to do…laying on MrRoobens bed, trying to crawl out of the dog door and playing with the blinds are three of her favourites….oh and unplugging her night-light. we are taking a different approach now and ignoring her – with the exception of the night-light – in the hope that these things will eventually become boring due to the lack of reaction they garner…fingers crossed the blinds survive. she is having a crack at feeding herself with a spoon and I need to remember to buy a shower curtain for the floor. when I look back over the past year I am amazed at all the mad skills she has acquired and it comes as no surprise to me that during times of great uncertainty she wants nothing more than to cling to me – I get it – she is at a stage when she is exploring her independence and also fearful of what that brings. so I spend my days picking up toys, DVD’s, books, Tupperware and utensils as I follow her destruction from room to room and when she needs my support I am there. we have so much to look forward to on a daily basis – however tomorrow’s priority is to get the list back on the fridge to keep me honest and to fire up barrybadger every day to get out of my head for a bit…two small steps towards getting my mojo back.
thanks for sticking around.
kenzi’s mum, formally known as mika. if roles were reversed and men were the primary carers for our babies would they introduce each other with a hand shake and then introduce their offspring? or would they do as we do and just nod and smile or perhaps throw in a “hi”….I was thinking about this yesterday afternoon when I returned from our weekly session in the pool. I know the names of all the babies there but only know one of the mums who also goes to playgroup. while it’s nice to know the names of the babies it would also be nice to be able to say “hi ginger, how was your weekend?”. I guess what I am questioning right now is that loss of my own identity as it becomes all about little boss….how did she sleep?, is she walking yet?, has she tried vegemite?, how many teeth has she got? and on and on it goes which leaves me singing the lyrics from Moving Pictures, What About Me? – not the shannon noll version – so today I am off to an outdoor training session while little boss has her first trip to the crèche…see it’s still about the baby. don’t get me wrong, I am not chucking a tanty about no longer being the centre of attention it would just be nice to have a chat about other stuff…which is increasingly harder to do given that I am the director of domestic affairs and most of these “affairs” revolve around one little boss. even reporting on the events of my day seem slightly dull when Mr B Badger.com asks “how was your day”. in all honesty my days aren’t lacking in excitement or fun, however I am still trying to pack more and more into each day rather than just hanging out and living in the moment. little boss has been here for almost a year and sometimes I look at her and think “when did you get here?” it’s all been a blur of milestones and learning new things….for both of us. I am finding my new role more and more interesting as I learn to be a “mum” and get used to the new rules of engagement when navigating my way through the many things mum’s do…like baking…mum’s do that…apparently…
yesterday I went to the podiatrist and he told me I need to keep my foot elevated, with a heat pack and rest. I did not respond verbally, preferring to raise one eyebrow at him and wonder if he had noticed the 11 month old wriggling around in the pram beside me. when MrB Badger.com got home he asked for the report and then declared “since you’ve had her you’re cracking up”. he’s from the north of England what can I say. he does have a point though and while I rarely feel my age – probably due to refusal to grow up – this morning as my heavily taped foot hit the floor I felt every one of my 41+ years. the doc thinks it tendonitis bought on by my ridiculous obsession with wanting to be a runner…I had only just started to do a bit of interval training to build up my cardio fitness again and my feet tell me otherwise. these feet that have been through some pretty dodgy fashion choices and have the bunions to show for it have finally decided to send me a message – stop running. the message is so clear that even walking is a challenge right now but that could be the tape. my dear husbands point about me cracking up is exactly how I feel. I am clumsy beyond belief and my hands are still not fully recovered from the tenosynovitis I had many months ago…current injuries include one finger caught in the pram harness and a stab wound to my palm as I tried to catch a knife that fell from the knife magnet. actually now that I think about it maybe the clumsy has been with me forever…when I was a kid if I ever forgot my house key I would take the window screen off the kitchen window and let myself in. I remember one day I could only find a very small screw driver to do the job and it kept slipping out of the screw and I got so frustrated I threw the screw driver…when I looked to retrieve it imagine my surprise as I saw it sticking out of the soft flesh in the arch of my foot – I have the scar as a reminder of my stupidity.
in all my reading about pregnancy and babies and stuff I missed the bit about how much having a child can impact your body and how age plays a part in your recovery. it’s all about the changes the baby goes through during the pregnancy and then how to manage with the baby when you get home. what about the mum who ends up with tendons and ligaments as loose as nanna undies and teeth that threaten to bankrupt the family if you can find time to visit the dentist. the same changes occur regardless of the age of the mother it’s the body’s ability to recover that changes with age and right about now I am wishing that prior to falling pregnant I was in peak physical condition so I could snap back into shape and not have any of these injury woes ahhh hindsight what a wonderful way to make you feel like a failure. anyhoo once I have recovered I will go back to doing what I know and that is lifting heavy things in the gym and riding a bike for cardio, no more running for me….excellent news.
so I have been doing febfast…for those that do not know participating in febfast involves abstaining from alcohol for the month of february while raising money to support people with addiction issues and their families. the non drinking thing is no biggie for me anymore since I only had about three drinks while I was pregnant with little boss and every time I did my body rejected it and I would spend the rest of the day or night in the bathroom I figure whats 28 days when I have done over 12 months….so I have roped in Mr B Badger.com – who, if faced with the choice, would rather eat cupcakes than drink bourbon – and my parentals who are only doing febfast monday to friday but they intend to continue their weekday abstinence beyond february which is pretty good really.
anyhoo it has only just recently occurred to me how much our culture is geared towards having a drink…we meet people “for a drink”, we go out for lunch and dinner and have a drink, we have a rubbish day at work and we relax with a drink, we have a fantastic day at work and we have a drink to celebrate. it may not be our culture, it may just be people I know, but if I count up the non drinkers i know they only take up the fingers on one hand. there is an alcohol awareness advertising campaign on the telly that shows a dad having a drink and he asks his son to get him a beer and the that son grows into a man and repeats the same pattern…reminds me of my little hostess duties I performed as a child. at the time I loved it. if I was playing the hostess it meant I could stay up and be part of an adult world. it’s only now that I have little boss that it has occurred to me that knowing how to water down my grandfathers fruity gordo before I had hit double digits probably wasn’t really all that cool. and here lies the problem with re-reading my posts….see I had written up to the last full stop this morning then went out for lunch and now at 10pm I have re-read and wonder should I post this? does it come across as though I was raised by some irresponsible people who put me to work at their servant…and the answer to my own question is that to some readers it may seem like that, to others it may sound worse or it may read like a pretty regular, suburban upbringing – which it was. just a normal couple trying to raise two kids, one of whom felt compelled to grow up way to early and present them with more than their fair share of sleepless nights and challenging times….not much has changed really.
anyway it’s staying in – read it or read into it, your choice entirely.
so back to febfast. I haven’t raised any money other than the $50 I donated which I am totally fine with because at the end of february I will hopefully have a better relationship with my liver and will also have lost a few more pounds…god knows why I say pounds but it just sounds better than saying kilos. things that never occurred to me before are now quite interesting like how inexpensive it is to go out for a meal when you don’t drink…perth is probably the most expensive city in australia for dining out, or any sort of dining actually, yet today when I took my besty out for a birthday lunch neither of us had a drink so for two meals and two coffees it was only $55…staggering considering that four years ago we went to a wedding at a beautiful venue on the swan river and I went to the bar to buy drinks for myself and three others….three pints of regular beer and one glass of japanese beer and when I handed the guy a fifty he said “it’ll be more than that” I was totally embarrassed – doesn’t happen often – I only had fifty on me since we were at a wedding and I didn’t need cash…it was $55 for four drinks and none of them had an umbrella. I did wish I had bought a bigger handbag so I could keep the glasses, at least then it would have felt like money well spent.
the other little tidbit to pique my interest is that when you say no to a drink so do others. it’s like a good kind of peer pressure. although my dad says “well this is all a bit boring really” when we are sat at the pub all drinking soda water but it does have a knock on effect and I guess drinking alone is way less fun than in a group so the can’t beat them, join them mantra works both ways. anyhoo for now it works for us. we want to be able to run around with little boss and you can’t do that after a night on the tiles….or as my wise sister-in-law said to my brother “the kids don’t understand a hangover” and she is right, so our febfast might last a while…I wonder how long it will take for wine selectors to stop calling me…
about three weeks ago MrRooben rolled his ball under our bed and i was mortified when i saw how furry it was when I pushed it back out with the pool cue…so I got down on the floor and had a good look under the bed to see what lurked there. this may be a little disturbing to some but I don’t think the bed had been moved since we changed the room configuration about two years ago…fortunately neither of us has a dust allergy because the dust bunnies under our bed were easter bunny mascot size. oh and there was also a phone charger still plugged in from my old blackberry phone…I have had an iPhone since feb 2011…oh my goodness.
anyhoo so I decided while little boss was taking a nap to move the bed and give it a good hoover – what an excellent way to see just how dirty your carpet is, hoover off the dust bunnies and underneath is pristine off white carpet…lucky I was putting the bed back in the same place. so I remove the mattress, no mean feat considering its a king bed, and then I try to move the bed when two of the legs snap clean off. oops. I have a look to see if there is anyway it can be repaired and not a chance. so I hand the dust bunnies over to the cyclonic power of the dyson and once I have removed the other two non broken legs I put the bed and the mattress back in place and hope that Mr B Badger.com has had a tough day at work so wont notice that our bed is almost on the floor…well the middle of the mattress is on the floor. we don’t discover this until very late into the night when I wake up way too close to my husband. last time we were that close we made little boss. the purpose of having a king size bed is so that you can enjoy the company of someone else in the same bed but far enough away so that you don’t have to touch if you don’t want to. the problem we now have is that there is nothing supporting the centre of the slats under the mattress so there is nothing to stop us from meeting in the middle. this is not the biggest issue we now face…well I say we which really means me or I. see I am still getting around on the same knees that started supporting me at 15 months old…I was too chubby to start any earlier and that may have contributed to why I now have to try to build up some momentum before trying to get myself up from what feels like the deepest sumo squat. oh my poor knees. back in my 20’s sleeping on a mattress on the floor was no biggie but now it’s torture and I am feeling every one of those years every time I try to bounce out of bed to attend to little boss. lets face it there aint much bounce left in these knee’s.
I guess the most interesting aspect of my broken bed and sore knee’s story is that 20 years ago if I had told someone my knees were sore and had broken my bed it would have elicited the nudge nudge wink wink say no more type of response where now a days if I look like I am not moving that well and when asked I say “oh my knees are a bit sore…I broke my bed” people say…”were you moving it on your own?”….
this week I lost my spray tan virginity. I now have orange feet, thankfully the weather in perth is shite so my newly sprayed feet will stay covered by shoes…what made me call the beautician and say “do you do spray tans”??? well it was my husband. see I don’t particularly like my legs and prefer to cover them up, usually with jeans – yes even if it is 42 degrees, they are that bad. Anyhoo Mr B Badger.com has been urging me to wear shorts and suggested that I get a spray tan to make my very white legs look like they belong in shorts…so I stalled. we can’t afford it, what if it’s too dark, what if I go orange, it doesn’t last long, you have to keep getting it done were all tactics and excuses that I tried in order for him to agree that jeans were going to be okay for me. in the end he just said ring and book. so I did. and now I have orange feet. I look like a henna tattooist just coloured me in from the ankle down. even my toenails are orange. this was my fear. I will now be that woman who other women look at and say “ooooo bad spray tan sista”. I know this because I do this. I am usually the person watching people’s feet as they walk in front of me and seeing their orange feet wondering what would possess them to get a spray tan…well now I know. now for a lot of people if it’s behind them they don’t really get bothered by it like if the back of their hair didn’t get attention from the straightener, no worries. or if their new hipster jeans let loose a crack a plumber would be proud of when they sit down, who cares? well peeps I do. I care. I went to an RPM class once and would usually be early so I can get the bike at the back of the room. on this occasion I had to sit at the front so apologised to the people behind me for what they were about to see, I guarantee it wasn’t pretty. so now that I am sporting heels to make the oompa loompas want to give me a low five I definitely wont be wearing shorts. if only I had skin like Mr B Badger.com or little boss…neither of them really need to be in the sun, in the shade while the sun is shining is enough for them to tan a lovely golden brown with no freckles in sight. if I joined all my freckles together I would probably have a nice tan…oh well at least its only my feet that are orange. the rest of me is a tan colour and the day after I felt as though I had lost 5kg…I hadn’t but looking in the mirror I remembered what an old friend once said….”tanned fat looks better than white fat” and right now I would have to agree. here’s hoping that in six months time there wont be much fat left so tanned, white or orange it wont matter. …
no not the acid I dropped back in ’87, the maternal in me. see growing up I always said I didn’t want children, wouldn’t have any, wasn’t interested. and I remember having a conversation, somewhere in my thirties, with my mother about my “clock” that didn’t seem to be wound correctly as there was no tick toc on my radar. mum assured me that when I met the right fella and was in a relationship things would change…it really didn’t. I never had that urge to have a baby, that crazy desire that absolutely drives women insane every month as they will their period not to come…don’t get me wrong I have ALWAYS willed my period not to come but for an entirely different reason than the baby mad girls out there. anyhoo you may be reading this the wrong way – as in I didn’t want to have children – and this is not true. I just didn’t have the whatever it is that makes women want it to happen so bad they go spare. I was more an if it happens, it happens kind of person….it’s probably easier to deal with the disappointment of failure that way. anyway along the way I did manage a few pregnancies and lo and behold now we have K Dogg who from now on will be referred to as Little Boss cause at only 19 weeks old she rules the roost. so the one thing I have noticed about myself that makes me feel a bit like a freak is the female traits I distinctly lack. at my baby shower there were ooohhhhs and ahhhhhs and awwwww soooooo cuuuutes flying around all over the place and I was in a very uncomfortable space. I even felt awkward opening the gifts in front of everyone. turns out I am a bit of a weirdo…yesterday Little Boss and I went to our weekly active parenting class and since we were experiencing the joys of a wonder week for last weeks session this week was our first time. so of course everyone else in the class already know each other and as I wheeled Little Boss into the room I realised that none of the other babies were in their swim gear, just regular clothes rolling around on play mats on the floor…so all the ladies are looking at me and I say “hi everyone, I’m Mika and this is Kenzi” and I get back one random and not enthusiastic “hi”…this is gonna be a tough seven weeks. so I park myself next to a lady and her little girl and I fish out something that looks kind of play mat like, but not really, out of the bag and I lay Little Boss on it to check out all the other babies – she was probably thinking “thanks for putting me in my bathers mum, everyone else is just dressed normally” I really hope the need to conform doesn’t start this early though. so I try to strike up a conversation with the bird next door and she is very quiet but I know her name and her baby’s name and age – the end. I am listening to the other women and they are all talking about foods they have tried and how apples don’t go far and how much pureed fruit does one of those frozen cube thingys hold…Little Boss is still a formula only baby and will probably stay that wy until she gets closer to six months so I was just doing the nod and smile but it was a bit like an out-of-body experience. I just can’t see myself having those conversations cause what they eat is just that, if apples don’t go far – dont do apples and the cube thingy hold what it holds – measure it before you put it in the freezer. anyways so the class fills up and we have to go round the room and introduce ourselves, our baby, say how old our baby is and say what the best thing about having a baby is….so if you have ever seen sandra bullock play the undercover pageant queen and when asked what she would like to see changed says “harsher penalties for parole violators Stan” and then when she see’s the reaction follows up with “and world peace” that’s how I felt but I didn’t get to do the follow-up bit, mine went like this….”hi everyone, I am Mika and this is Kenzi and she is four months old and for me there are so many great things about having a baby but I guess the best is learning to be truly selfless” now I wish I could have added “and her cute little giggles” onto the end cause that would have made it less awkward but there was no time. the other responses were giggles, smiles, when she learns something new, her cute little toes, when he got his first tooth etc etc you get the picture. I was waaaaayyyyyyy off with my comment. see there is something just not there with me. oh well, fake it til you make it I say. and in all honesty if the conversation calls for pondering the stewing resilience of fruit, I can do that. it’s a little out of my normal comfort zone for topics but if I want Little Boss to socialize with other babies I can certainly mix it with the other mum’s. Little Boss had a great time. we got home and at 3.30pm she went to sleep and at 8pm I had to wake her for a feed – this hasn’t happened for about two months – then she went straight back to sleep and woke up at 3.30am for another feed then back to sleep til 7.30am. then after some more food I put her on her stomach for some exercise and she may have learned something from her observations the previous day because she pushed herself up and then rolled over for the first time – if I had a camera for her face it would have been priceless. she was stunned and looked at me with a bewildered “what the hell just happened” look on her face. so next week if we have to answer a question about being a mum or having a baby my answer will be a whole lot simpler than this weeks effort…