Word clusters determined by the roll of a dice.
Page 2 of 3
The household toddler has had a visit from gastro this week. That meant being woken every two hours for two nights in a row by a fevering child, living in a blur of repetition of toilet checking, bottom wiping, hand washing, administering water and offering dry foods, and surrendering to dropping all plans. It has meant losing wages whilst still paying for unused daycare, and having the tv on way more than usual.
On the back of all this, yesterday I sat 2 adult naplan exams, complete with overcoming the stress of the power point not charging my lap top, my mouse stopping working, and the remote proctor not being able to access my camera, resulting in a 45 minute delay to my exam start time. Somehow managed to get a delicious evening meal on the table, and little one is on the mend today.
Yet the biggest challenge for me was helping her to put on the tiny gardening gloves that she was insisting on wearing for our walk this morning.
She also brought a cushion “in case I fall over”.
So of course one block into our walk, I’m carrying a pair of gloves rolled up, a cushion, a hand full of lillipillis, a few flowers, a bagged dog poo, and the lead of our 40kg old man. All in one hand to keep the other hand free to hold hands with little to cross the road.
A young woman jogging freely in the other direction with both hands free and ponytail swinging, smiled at us.
I thought, maybe she looks at us and wishes she could have this moment.
I am having this moment. This is what life has given me right now. What a joy.
I’m sick of people referring to their kids as little terrors or monsters. Of expecting their 6 month old babies to self soothe. Of asking for advice on how to be able to get their kids used to less human connection.
I’m sick of seeing babies in prams with screens in front of them. I’m sick of hearing parents use power-over and fear tactics with their children. I’m sick of crappy gender stereotyping through clothes and toys.
I’m sick of parents asking on parenting groups about what “stuff” to buy for their kids.
I’m sick of the chilling impact on the early years of human life that capitalism and ecological terrorism is having. I’m sick of the pressure that keeping on top of basic living costs is putting on parents.
I want to see a world where parenting is regarded as THE most important job. Where the people doing it are supported financially and by community to do it to their best ability. Where everything we know about secure attachment, neuropsychology, and our deepest needs for love and belonging, informs the core motivation of how we raise our children.
I want to see extreme overhauls of our education systems so that teachers are upheld to support the biologically wired, natural and beautiful blossoming of innately intelligent, good, active humans.
I want to see a medical system that supports families to have great nutrition, sleep, and spiritual support before labels and prescriptions.
I want to see a world where we understand the value of unstructured time together. The value of parents having time to breathe, alone with themselves. The value of free play.
I want to live in a world where we know that we’re all in this together.
Not a big ask. And I know I’m not alone in this wish.
These are the first words I heard this morning.
Followed by “there you go Mama, so lovely”.
I say ‘this morning’ in reference to the time after birds had started.
All the talking in wake and sleep that happened between 2:00 am and the birds shall be known as night talking. Night talking is not to be encouraged, as cute as some of the stuff is (Mummy I draw a beautiful pitcha on your aaaaaaaaarm); and shall not be spoken of again.
But that morning invitation to smile. Oh!
Thay makes the same invitation in the morning prayer:
Waking up this morning I smile
Twenty four brand new hours are before me
I vow to live mindfully in each moment
And to look at all beings with eyes of compassion
The beautiful hand made poster of this recitation that I used to have stuck beside the bed was long ago removed by a curious baby. Some days I remember to start the day with a smile to this poem, many days I’m swept up with the earliest demands.
Today they synthesised and my smile was so big, my presence in the moment so true; my gratitude for the life I have so visceral. Whatever the day brings, it started with a smile, and a smile to the invitation to smile.
Being awake since 2:00 is going to be ok…
“Mummy I get pants for meeeeee”.
Long little legs go running down the hall, with the pitter patter of new red leather shoes beating out the allegretto of a single-focused mission.
I gaze in wonder at the space before my eyes where she passed by with her announcement. Those little legs. Strong and certain, holding her to the earth; lifting her to the sky, where she was once a star.
A star, waiting for just the right time to take up the long-extended invitation to come and be loved by us.
And here she is, full of life, full of words. Full of erroneous requests at 4:00 am.
And as she is full, so does she fill me.
With a love so heart-expanding that I too, grow taller. With a joy so face-opening that my smile lines stretch further. With a giddying glow so all-encompassing that I’m sitting here in the kitchen, awe-struck.
That those little legs are the result of an orgasm.
International Women’s Day
💜right to vote
💜access to education
💚freedom to marry who I choose, and to not marry at all
💚freedom to work
💜ability to gather with other women
💚daughters being raised in a time when they know their voices are powerful
💚freedom to dress as I choose
💜feminist allies of all genders
💚fire in my belly
💜certainty that we will continue to be part of more and more positive change until systems operate from a basis of true equality for all people all over the world
💚ultimate mother, our planet Earth
💜great fortune at living in a time when so much hard work has already been done to make it possible for me to list all these things safely
💚privilege, and my awareness that I can use it to bust oppression
Attend your local IWD Rally! Gather in solidarity to celebrate and agitate!
Yes, girls are coming out of the woods
And women are talking
To each other
And women listen well
And women believe each other
And women strengthen each other, with utterances of “I see you”, whispered through tears, as soft, hard-worked hands hold each other in loving solidarity
Women are talking, telling our stories, sharing our truths, as the relief of being heard and held trickles streams pours out of us, taking form as words, laughter, snot, yawns, and swearing – lots of swearing
The words are not pretty, the stories are not pleasing, the strength is not something that comes out of a jar of protein powder or a superfood capsule.
Gritty and real and hot – a strength earned
Earned by staying
By staying with ourselves in the darkness. By staying upright in the cyclonic winds of life and other people’s bullshit.
By staying true to the path of liberation laid out before us; without seeking slumber on the velvet lounge of “someone else will fix this”.
Staying tethered to Gaia’s ever loving support through the sinewy tap root that comes straight out the bottom of our pelvic bowl.
Staying anchored to the highest star above, feeding from the limitless stream of white light.
Staying in the process of our stories swirling through us, rebuilding our cells into new, stronger, wiser, same as before women.
We are not obedient. We are not subservient. We are not controllable.
And we make no apology.
We do not allow the shame of others to isolate us into silence. We do not protect those who have wronged us and our children. We do not complicitly uphold the structures of oppression.
Watch as they tumble down.
Watch as the dust rises.
Watch as the footprints of mothers, sisters, daughters, girlfriends, grandmothers, allies, and sons appear in their multitudes.
And listen. Listen as the whisper builds.
It’s the sound of power surging towards a better world for all. For our children yet to come, for our precious planet. For ourselves.
The Women are talking
– after Tishani Doshi Read her here ❤️
Am I the one for whom you exist?
No caffeine from you will pass through my tits
For wakefulness you shan’t be blamed
Nay, nor thanked…
You’re a bit like chocolate incense- nostalgically reminiscent of the real deal, but not a spot hitter by any stretch
Breast is best breast is best
yes yes yes
I absolutely get behind the list of benefits
I challenge anyone to forego BOTH sleep AND coffee, then tell me “breastmilk is free”.
Because I need to call the Waaaahmbulance.
Ow! My arm.
What did I do last night? Bruised knees – part of dancing on a wooden stage. Slight pull in one calf – from when my tap shoes skidded on the shaving cream residue still on the floor from the previous performance. Crunkly eyelashes – from multiple coats of mascara… but I could not remember doing a one armed cartwheel/ I don’t even know what to call that trick, not in my repertoire… I could not remember a drunk person falling on me… I could not remember lifting anything particularly cumbersome or heavy.
What did I do last night?
Oh wait! What did I do yesterday lunchtime?
I’m a 40 year old cheerleader with a 12kg child.
A 12kg child who woke up precisely 4 minutes before our squad was due to appear at a festival, and was too much in need of mummy cuddles to be interested in any other potential care giver.
So there we were, at a community event, running a community workshop, with me as the one who was leading the big group warm up dance.
So I just did it. With my toddler on my hip, held there with my left arm.
4:11 of medium intensity cardio, Baby sitting on one pom-pom as I waved the other about with double enthusiasm for balance… I noticed the extra weight as we did 1,2,3 jump, and during the side traveling rock-stomp around in the circle; but mainly I was balancing my focus between teaching the basic moves and checking Baby’s welfare – was her head not bobbing around too much, was that security biscuit she needed to hold not choking her…
As you do.
Etc etc – it all went along – at some point she was happy to hop down and I noticed the great relief of no longer holding her in one arm.
Performance/workshop over, time to sit and feed snacks to Baby before heading home to get ready for cabaret tech run.
Blah blah blah, amazing night of women’s performance, happy juices flowing as I feel at peace with my need to share absurd dance comedy with unsuspecting audiences.
Home, sleep, sun comes up.
Ow! My arm.
Knowing that tiredness and pain are both things that can be a source of grumpiness, I pledge to go gently while my arm heals.
Times of exertion call for times of replenishment, and I’m ok with the ratio changing as I gather birthdays behind me.
Recovery time may be longer, but if I settle into that truth as a beautiful truth, leaning into rather than resisting it; then I can enjoy some slow days with less expectations on myself.
Let the floor stay unswept for today, have a storybook marathon in the teepee, model self-kindness and patience with the process of healing.
Because if I try and operate as though I’m not tired and hurting, yes, I can get the things done, but I get cranky and snappy. And that’s not the tone I want our family to have.
So I come back to myself.
What do I need right now to be the best mum I can be with what I have in this moment?
Caregiver state of mind is everything.
As my mum’s beautiful teacher Lama Yeshe said: “May I be gentle with myself. For only then can I be gentle with others.”
And gentle is what my kids need from me.
It is a secret strength that I am working on. Slowly, and with patience!