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Sorry, but it’s true.

In fact, why am I saying sorry to you, you don’t have to live with him, you don’t have to put up with his higher than thou ways or his complete lack of commitment to parenting techniques that we have discussed, time & time again, you don’t have to be put down in front of your child(ren) when you try to discipline them DESPITE agreeing on NUMEROUS occasion that we would show a united front before the children and discuss differences on how the situation might have been managed AFTER the event.

So again, why do I say sorry to you.  I refuse, absolutely refuse to deny the fact that he acted out of line in confronting me in front of my child and during a moment when I was trying to discipline him.  I refuse to say that I was wrong and I refuse to apologise for my outburst (in front of the children for which I am ashamed).  It won’t hurt the kids to know that I, just as much as they can, can feel victimized and talked over, over looked and devalued.

Screw you arsehole, take your poxie flowers from Valentine’s and shove them firmly up your arse.

I just read a Facebook post from my 19 year niece

“Fuking Centerlink is so fuked up malaki running a muck and im just sitting back letting him be loud and naughty, they might get us in and out!! I HOPE…”

Besides the obvious spelling error, seems she forgot the class in which they taught you how to spell profanities correctly, I am speechless and ashamed to read such a post, would be by anyone let alone someone I am related to.

Centrelink (for non Australian readers) is part of our welfare system designed to help people out in times of need and keep them out of poverty.  It is meant as a safety net when times are tough.

My beautiful niece, most of her friends and a reasonable percentage of people using Centrelink and collecting welfare (or the dole as we sometimes less eloquently call it) regard it as a right.  They are Entitled to a free living and pity the poor chap at Centrelink (whom is Working for their living) that gets in the way of their free paycheck.

I normally support a welfare state, I think it is important to assist people in times of need and crisis and I am proud to live in a country that allows people to be knocked over knowing a helping hand is there if required.  I am not proud of my niece, her welfare cheating buddies and people like them whom have never tried to get a job, never tried to get a decent education knowing they don’t need to as their biggest plan in life is to collect welfare.

The nerve to then complain about having to sit in a room with other like minded people to occasionally have to lie through your teeth as to why you still need welfare and can’t get a job!  I feel for the people that are there genuinely seeking support and assistance, it must make them feel horrible knowing that by collecting welfare most people put them in the same pile as those who cheat the system.

It’s time we expected more from our welfare recipients, demanded that if they can’t find work as they claim and don’t have a disability that they do some further study, do volunteer work, make the poor workers at Centrelink a coffee so they can deal with the next irate welfare cheater and her naughty child.

 

I went to a ‘workshop’ last night entitled “Play is the Way” hosted by a gentleman with great enthusiasm for his job and passionate
about his programme.

Basically the premise was that “Children do not fail, systems, programmes, teachers & parents fail, children do not fail”.

I agree entirely with this premise, but what a wake up.

Everything I do, everything I say, in some way, shape or form, manifests itself in my children and either enables them to succeed or results in their failure.

Like I didn’t already place an enormous amount of stress on myself as a parent and the influence I am having on my children!

It’s important to note though, and for me the reason why I enjoy these types of ‘workshops’, nothing he said, nothing he ‘touted’  new.  It’s simply that we have forgotten these simple truths through constant marketing demanding that our jobs as parents is not to raise well adjusted adults but to have a happy child.

Through constant marketing we have been made to feel that if my child is not happy, right here, right now, I have somehow failed that child and become less than that perfect parent I want to be.

When did we begin to assume that parenting was a perfect occupation?

Why do we expect so much of ourselves when all our child asks for is love?

Who do we model ourselves on and when parenting with a partner how do you align two different histories into one coherent parenting practise?

When do we require our children to be more?

When do we say “enough, you work it out for yourself?”

Whilst my children are relatively still young, it is the complaint of “the younger generation”, the “generation Y’s” that suggests to me that we are yet to make this demand of the up and coming, the people that I hope will lead the way, in technology, in kindness, in environmental responsibility, yet, if I am to believe the workshop last night (which I do), it is not their fault.

The system, education, you & I failed them and in doing so failed ourselves.

One statement he made still reverberates in my mind, and eases some of my guilt.  He said, “100-80 years ago we all had 10-12 children so didn’t have the time for poor old Jack/John/Lucy, we simply told him/her to deal with it, get over it, which they
did”.

Do I, do we, have the courage to demand more of our children, in order for them to be all it is they can be?

Can I let them go long enough for them to be truly happy…….free?

I am not the adventurous type.

Never have been.

I’ve always done my best to avoid anything remotely “scary”, show rides, jumping off things or pretty much anything that involves me getting out of my comfort zone.

I hate heights.  That is anything that involves going down from a height.  Going up, great.  Standing, looking out over a horizon at a huge height, amazing.  Having to physically descend, bloody scary.  I even refused to go into a temple at Angkor Wat, THE temple to go into, just because I knew sooner or later I’d have to climb down.

Generally I don’t trust myself to get myself out of a tricky situation, and whilst I’m being honest, hate the thought that people will see me as inadequate in my attempts, so I play it safe by not attempting.

I attempted, tried, and succeeded last weekend.

I climbed, waded through water, scaled rocks, pushed myself even though I really just wanted to stop. “Here is fine thanks, this will do…..you keep going”.  It was so worth it.  To get through it, with my husband and two boys was amazing and I’m ridiculously  proud of myself knowing I could have quit at any point.

Thanks to my wonderful boys that gave me the courage to not wimp out.

We made it!

At the entrance to Kermit pool

The way we’d come

So here I am, hand sewing a handmade (see extremely dodgy) cloth sign onto my 6 years olds shirt to get him ready for a fancy dress day at school, when between pricking my fingers with the needle I have a little laugh and think “if only 20 something me could see me now”.

Actually, and to be honest it is probably a good thing she/me can’t as this certainly isn’t something I thought I’d ever “sign” up for, but, somehow, I think it is the best decision, or non-decision, I’ve ever made.

I never wanted children, a husband, to be a stay at home mum, live in the burbs (or a country town as it turns out now), I never thought I’d wake up and spend the rest of my day looking after, caring for, providing, nurturing someone else, but here I am.

And I wouldn’t for the 30 something life of me be anywhere else.

His Zac Power shirt (Zac Power label by me over a Billabong label), spy phone, stink bomb, ID Card, Lanard card and GIB timing devise

And because I’m soo chuffed at my work…………another view

So I got some “legal” type papers in the mail the other day, you know the ones where you have to fill everything out in block letters, black ink only, filled out under the light on a waning moon.
 
To complete it to the companies satisfaction the form also requires that two people witness my signature.
 
Big deal really…..except I hardly know two people yet in my new home town let alone two people who I would feel comfortable asking to witness my signature.
 
So why do I have to know these people, surely I can just go to a police station or the local doctors/pharmacists to get a witness, only that would be admitting my solitude and make me feel even more pathetic than I already do.
 
So why can’t I ask the few friendly, nice, lovely people who I have become acquaintances with?  Why does it feel so odd to ask them?  I know they would, it’s not like they are signing away their first-born, just witnessing my crazy piece of scribble on a page.  Why does it make me feel odd?  A loner?  A bit of a sad case?  A Nigel No Mates.
 
Maybe by reaching out and asking for such a simple thing, people will realise how isolated you can be as the new face in town, maybe remind them of what it was like and encourage them to reach out?
 
Or maybe, like me, they’ll just find me a little bit sad.

Just for today

Just for today I want to

Not have to think about what I’m having for dinner the second I wake up so I can get something out of the freezer.

Not make my bed, and especially not make the kids beds, like they care how their bed looks anyhow.

Not do the laundry, so I don’t have to worry about hanging it up, bringing it in, folding it, putting it away…..

Not do the dishes, again, and then again and just for laughs, again.

Not worry that I should really be putting that water from the saucepan I just boiled an egg in into another container so it can cool and be used to later water the plants with.

Not worry about makeup, I’m tired and drawn out and quite honestly sick of pretending otherwise.

Just for today I want to hide, be anything another than a mother who needs to pull her socks up, put on a happy face and show an interest in every pretend monster or little game they play.

Just for today I want to wallow, be still.  See no one.  Do nothing except maybe sigh at the mundaneness of it all.

Just be.  Just for today.

I’ll pull my socks up tomorrow.

That’s how I’d describe my friends reaction at someones suggestion that her son might have Asperger’s.

She was so completely shocked, still is, the idea had never occurred to her and who was this woman to make such an assumption (the school psychologist as it turns out, not necessary an expert in the field).

I on the other hand was completely shocked that she was shocked, surely all the signs were as clear as day, how could he be anything but someone with Asperger’s.

Then she asked “why can’t he just be the smart kid who is a bit awkward with his friends” and I immediately feel guilty.

Why do we have to label people, kids in particular.  When I was growing up he would have been referred to as ‘the brainiac’, ‘a nerd’, ‘that weird kid’.  Today he has asperger’s or sits somewhere on the autistic spectrum, not just somewhere to the left of centre but somewhere where as a society we can box him, collate him and put him aside to analyse later on.

Granted the idea of ‘labelling’ does have benefits in allowing access to programmes or funding designed to help both the “sufferer” and their family, but it’s the desire to ‘label’ that has my friend worried.

That and the unknown.

Hopefully by doing some research she’ll learn that asperger’s can actually be a gift, some of the brightest minds of our past and present would all comfortably sit somewhere on an autistic spectrum, or have “aspy’s” as I’ve heard it so casually refered to.

But I now ask myself, (still in disbelief that she appeared to have her head so deeply buried in the sand), what is it I don’t see that is so plainly obvious to others.

And do I, blinded by either lack of knowledge or fear or even just plain ignorance, want to see it, or would being told be like getting my head yanked out the sand to the oncoming glare of headlight

She means well….

She means well, at least that is what I’d like to think and what I’m sure she tells all of her friends when ever given the chance to think I might have caused her an injustice.
 
Yes, my mother in-law means well, but, and let’s be honest, she is my mother in-law which by its very definition means she has been employed to judge and generally stick her nose in where it isn’t required.
 
I’m forced to spend the following weekend with her with my son as he requires some hospital visits in the city where she lives. 
 
Lovely, wonderful, will save us some money and let Nanna and grandson spend some time together.  Both things I’m more than grateful for, only I have to stay too.
 
Don’t get me wrong.  She means well.  I really enjoy her company.  In small doses.
 
Just before we moved up here she went a 6 week holiday to Canada and Alaska, so we Skype her on Monday after her return to say hello and surprise her.
 
Two days later she Skype’s us, “So what have you been up to, what’s happening?”  Well, it’s been exactly 48 hours, it’s a week day and we are in the middle of bloody nowhere where nothing happens.  I actually said to her “nothing since we last spoke 2 days ago” (it was out before I could myself) and then smiled sweetly.
 
I’m pretty sure Skype is going to get me in trouble soon but I’ve always wanted to be an actor so might use it to practise my skills with as I control the urge to roll my eyes and generally mumble under my breath.
 
So she means well, and I know that talking to the boys can be like pulling teeth, but she then proceeds to ask the boys if they have lots of friends at their new school. Well lets hope they do Nanna or you’ve just made them feel even more insecure than they might have been.
 
Lachlan has lost his first tooth which she notices over the screen.  She means well, and asks
Nanna “so how much did the tooth fairy bring”
Lachlan “two one dollar coins”
Nanna “oh, two one dollar coins, what else”
!!! really!!  I have it on good authority from her son that they got 10c from the tooth fairy, what else does she expect the damn tooth fairy to bring, some jocks, a pocket watch?
 
So yes, we are staying with her for 4 nights whilst we are in town, and yes she is very nicely allowing us to stay with her (I can just imagine the quiet uproar if we stayed with my Dad instead), and yes she knows that we are there to have some testing for Lachlan, but she wants to know where, when, what for.
 
Ok, fair enough, nice to be concerned about her grandson, it’s just a pity that the concern hasn’t been followed up by any information about her family history (ie: why is Uncle Geoff on a different planet?), information that we asked for a long time ago but have never received because she refuses to talk about it.  In the meantime my son, her grandson continues to have test after test.
 
Which leaves me to surmise a little concern and lots of gossip factor with her cronies.
 
So, yes, she means well.  As a mother I’ve always thought it important to do what I can to facilitate a relationship between my boys and their extended family.  She means well.
 
It is after all only 4 days.                                                          

So we are having to work out some care arrangements for our youngest boy as the flights offered for Lachlan & I to attend some important appointments in Perth include an extra day at the start of the trip and is something that, up til now, we have not considered.

I’m now left asking, where does the line between work and family (or family and work depending on which side you sit closer to) become clear, and do the different sides of that line ever met or do they always run parallel.

Basically Lachlan & I are required to fly out next Thursday in the morning, and Dave has only prepared his work for an absence on the Friday (where he will work from home), and whilst Lachlan & I return on Monday afternoon Angus will be at kindergarten so he can attend work for at least six of his usual ten hour day.

My question is why can’t he book a day off on the Thursday, or at the very least use a sick day on the grounds of carers leave?

His question is can’t I ask some-one to look after Angus for the day, or some of it so he can go to work?

I’m left wondering why he can’t just be home for his son and he’s left asking why I can’t just ask someone to look after his son!
Based on the assumption (a correct one but that doesn’t make things better) that if someone asked me I’d be more than willing to help.

Interesting that I’ve asked HIM but his answer is no!

I realise that part of my distress is unfair and that yes he’s extremely busy and an extra day off will only serve to make him more so which will not make for a happy household, but honestly we’ve been here to four weeks and I’m expected to ask someone I barely know to look after my boy?

To make matters worse my boy that has a melt-down every time I leave him at kindergarten, whose ‘separation anxiety’ has been a major cause of distress for both him and I for over five months.  Yeh sure just drop the little guy off to cry and grapple for my arm as I wring myself free and simply drive away.  Way to (a) set Angus up for a good day and stress free five days whilst I’m away
and (b) make friends and influence them to have their child spend time with yours again!

I’m really trying to see things from Dave’s side, the work/family side but just can’t correlate his weighting of which takes priority.  Sadder still is I never thought I’d see the day that he asked me, us, to put his work before family.

You could argue that leaving Angus at a “friends” house to then spend the a long weekend with his Dad and have Dad drop him off a kindergarten will be good way to break the separation anxiety and force Angus to let me go for a while.  You could, only it’s a load of cogs wallop, you know it, I know it and you can bet Angus knows it too.  I’m already dreading the kindergarten drop
off after I get home, I suspect I’m going to have to coat myself in butter in order to escape his grip.

There is no way Dave expects anything less of me than to ask a new acquaintance to look after my boy.  It feels like I’m his
office lackey and I’ve been given a task and that is it.  End of discussion.  Yes I hear you that you are unhappy about it but I’m the boss so you’ve had your say now just be a good girl and do what you have been asked.  Oh, and do it well.

So sadly, here I am, alone, the rest of the house asleep trying to work out why our views on what is really an easy question of care are so very far apart, wondering why my husband won’t put his family before his work, wondering when exactly it was I became his secretary (a long time ago I think and best left to another blog), and wondering why, when I’m already so alone I can’t turn to him
for help.

I hate this house, it’s to bloody small to cry in without someone hearing and I really need to cry.

Stupid lines.