27 September 2008

Sleep torture

Lots of topics have come to the fore of my brain this week – it’s been another stress filled week, where my son has come down with gastro a second time, really badly, after having it last week and being temporarily sick with it, then having it move through the family, one by one, gradually recovering. This time, as if a cruel cosmic prank has been played on us, he has a night time cough, so that by day, we are changing nappies all the time, and at night, our sleep is interrupted by coughing at the least, and at other times a very upset little boy, working himself up into an inconsolable frenzy of coughing, crying, frustration at not being able to say what he wants to, and on 2 occasions, being sick all over me, so that we both have to have a midnight shower while Dad frantically cleans up around the place. Situations around you can seem worse than they actually are, in these conditions...

- To work or not to work?
That is not really the question. I kind of need to for now. But I'm beginning to see the attraction of being a full time mother. Especially when illnesses strike repeatedly. Cold after flu after gastro and back again at the beginning. It's wearing down our defenses. No matter how understanding your boss, or how family friendly your work-place's policies are, it's one of the downsides of being a working parent. Your private life is always thrust out there for all to see... "my son is sick, I have to work a half day today"... or "my son is sick, and my partner can't take today off". No matter whether you have enough leave, or if you make the time up later, you always feel as if you are on the back foot, in a poorer negotiating position.
I chat to my Mum about how they made do with less and she stayed home until I was three, then worked night shift at a nursing home so that she could be home for us. She was in the same boat as us, with all her family interstate as we grew up, but then airfares were more expensive and child care rare. But I also know for much of my childhood, my mother was unfulfilled on many levels. C-chan and I also think it would be preferable for us both to maybe work 3 or 4 days, or something like that. We'll aim for that in the long run. However on some levels I do think that E-chan benefits from his days in care - he's learning to share, care and befriend.

-Sick with worry...
E-chan has been sick so much this year, I'm beginning to worry about him. All anecdotal evidence suggests that in a few years, his immune system will strengthen, and he'll start fighting off more bugs than he comes down with. The Doctor has a sample in for analysis, says only time will mend things, and for him to rest, eat what he can and try to avoid lactose in case gastro-induced intolerance has set in. He's not dehydrated, and much of the day he seems happy and quite active. His height and weight are average, not below. He's delightful to be around most of the time (except when having the requisite 2 year old tantrum). But I hate to see him suffering - coughing and spluttering in the middle of the night, with a "tummy sore! tummy sore!", and NOT A THING I CAN DO ABOUT IT but give him cuddles, kisses, water, and maybe get him interested in a book to distract him from his aches, pains and coughing spasms.

- Career crisis #46
What area should I work in? Will I ever get to work in a field again that I really believe in? When and what might I study in the future? Is my career going backwards? Yawn.

- Why have my last 2 bosses been the same type of personality??
Having realised in the the last month that my current and last boss have both been of a similar personality, I this week almost wanted to give up. Too hard. (see below). Is dealing with these kinds of people a lesson the cosmos has decided I must learn? Do my bosses pick me because they think I'm a pushover and can boss me around? Why does it bug me that a Boss can boss me around - isn't that what bosses do? I know how to deal with them, so why don't I just do that? Why am I so bloody willful at times? Is it that hard to change as a just-over-30-year-old?

- I really need more than 3 hours sleep to function properly...
The actual source of most of my problems, insecurities, neuroses, tears and feelings of unempowerment this week, is sleep deprivation I realise, when I get out into the sunshine and talk to some friends.

- I am supermum!!
While Ethan was not fully recovered, he demanded to go to playgroup on his usual day. Climbed in the pram and waited for me to get ready, but insisting all the while we go to playgroup. So we got there late and left early, so he could have his fix of sandpits, toy kitchens, and trikes (I was careful to avoid contaminating others, and he mostly played on his own). I was on dishwashing duty and my phone rang, and it was a work related matter. I managed to hold an intelligent, 5 minute long conversation with someone whilst doing the dishes and keeping an eye on my 2-year-old. There wasn't even a moment later where I realised I omitted to say something, or said something wrong. I pulled off some multi-tasking there, and it felt fabulous! All is not quite that bad perhaps.

- Don Bradman's bloody cricket bat up for auction (again), a.k.a. "I can't believe the news today"
Is it just me, or does some Don Bradman memorabilia seem to be up for auction just about every week? I've yet to find a person who cares. So why does it keep turning up on the news and in papers? And in other news, greedy, large banking corporations are failing and going bankrupt and getting bailed out with hundreds of billions of dollars, while millions of middle to low income earners are being evicted, seeing their property's value plummet, or at the best, just managing to scrape together their mortgage payments, with no such help from their government. Even if every American citizen was given a million dollars, it would cost less than a billion dollars. Where is the equity in that?

- my friends are lovely
I'm inspired by my friends this week, they do all sorts of amazing things. They publish their own zines; they live overseas and work freelance; they suffer miscarriages and burst into tears telling us about it, but still see it from a philosophical perspective; they stick to their dreams, they say things like "they almost had us by the tits" instead of the masculine "they had us by the balls" in meetings and don't care that more conventional people sitting around the table are mouths agape (how I miss working with her!); they read books comparing Orwell and Evelyn Waugh and in her mummy-brain moment, mentions it to her mum-friends, apparently unaware that most of our company haven't read books by either of these authors (and even I, the next most well read in the group, could not get past the first page of Brideshead Revisited, despite having read a few Orwells). But what a mummy-brain moment to have?
And best of all, some of these new friends I've made since having E-chan are beginning to feel like old friends, like family.

24 September 2008

Quote of the week...

Australia's Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce says:
I've been saying to young women, you can have it all but not all at the same time, and how important it is to take very good care of yourself, of your mental and physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Cheers to that!

22 September 2008

Blog stalker!

I've checked out some new Blogger features, and tried to add a Blog roll, but it makes me look like a blog stalker! All I want is to be notified when certain blogs update, so I don't have have to check all the time.


I'm watching vintage (80's) play school videos - well someone else is and I can't help but see the odd snippet. Leggings and big baggy t-shirts were a really bad look, I reckon. I have been guilty of wearing this combination, but only to the gym or to bed, so I think I can be forgiven - anyone would look at me and say "oh, she's going to the gym...". I hope.

(That's E-chan in the blue t-shirt, by the way...)

We had a housewarming party on the weekend! House is warm now! The place was full of toddlers - literally kids climbing the stairs, driving trucks and trains along, transporting ice from the grog trough to the pot plant and back again, pinching cheese from the table and going off into the corner to eat it! Somewhere in the past year or two, our balance of friends has shifted to mostly include families with young kids, while our single/child-free friends avoid our parties like a plague... or so it seems. And an absolute champion and her Auntie stayed late and helped tidy up! Thank you!

The grand plan was to have video footage of the house, and put it up on a Schmacebook virtual party website, so folks from out of town could have a tour of the new house. But alas, the cord linking the video to the computer is still at large (put it down to things not yet finding their proper spot since we moved house...). So they had to make do with fancy real estate agent shots and random party snapshots.

12 September 2008

Lessons in giving titles to modern ladies

(AKA Part 2 of the below post)
(AKA stop me if you've heard this one before...)

Contrary to popular belief, changing your surname upon getting married is not easy, and along with having to provide your marriage certificate to the Births Deaths and Marriages Dept along with filling out forms, there are UMPTEEN places you then have to change your name (all those bank accounts, assets, utilities etc etc). This added up to TOO MUCH WORK for me, along with the fact that I'm quite fond of my family name and who it connects me to, no matter how often it is misspelt or misheard.

BUT. Being married does not automatically make me a Mrs!

Lets say for example, Miss Green marries Mr Brown, but doesn't change her surname. Why would you then start to call Miss Green "Mrs Green"? She is not married to someone with the same surname as her (hopefully not a cousin...?), and she is not a married woman living in sin with a Mr Brown! Nor would it be really appropriate to continue to be known as Miss Green (if she ever did). This seems to be a huge problem for people out there. "oh no! She's married, but has a different name to her spouse!! What do we do?!!".

The answer is simple, people.


I know it's not everyone's favourite, but like using the title "Mr", your marital status doesn't matter, nor does your age.

Please move with the times people.


That being said, I don't take offence if people address letters to "Mr and Mrs Brown" (using the above example) or "The Brown Family". I know who they mean.

Does that make me conflicted?

06 September 2008

How long has it been since the feminist movement now?

We just had people over - mums I know from our antenatal class plus their toddlers. We catch up every few months or so.

C-chan was up at the crack of dawn* making mini-cupcakes, then decorating them with simple letters of the alphabet. Pretty darn tasty, if you ask me! He also cut up fruit on a platter, while I put ham and cheese in small croissants, did the dishes and swanned about in my ugg boots. Team effort, really, as is usual in our household when we're both there.

Result: "Oh, Meririsa! wonderful cupcakes! Wow, you've put on all this food."

I didn't hear this therefore couldn't correct them, and C-chan smiled gracefully and was too modest to say he'd made a majority of the food. I think in future I'm going to make the assumption (when visiting a household with a heterosexual couple) that the male did the cooking - "oh Bob!? did you cook this? No? Oh I thought I heard someone say you did!". I may make myself (even more) unpopular, though...

* OK slight exaggeration - it's a weekend and we didn't get up until 7:30...