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Showing posts from August, 2009

The September Issue

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This may not come as a surprise to you, but I am no 'fashionista'!
However, this was a fascinating movie to see. The movie centres around Anna Wintour, the editor of American Vogue and the story of how the 2007 September issue of Vogue is put together. Wintour is famous for being a difficult, cold person to work for, but by the end of the movie I could understand why she is like that. So many decisions to make, so many pictures to look at, so many outfits to look at, so many crazy designers to listen to and so many people attempting to influence her decision making.
By the end of the movie, I felt that putting together an issue of Vogue was more like putting together an art exhibition than a fashion magazine. The photos are works of art (Grace Coddington's work is completely beautiful). Reassuringly, the people who work at Vogue generally looked pretty haggard and normal!
Fun to watch but don't take your kids as the couple in front of us did. Five minutes in, …

The Slap

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I read 'The Slap' by Christos Tsiolkas when we were on holidays in July. I had been looking forward to it because the premise of the book grabbed me.
The blurb on the back of the book says "At a suburban barbecue, a man slaps a child who is not his own". The boy is three, is throwing a tantrum, is threatening to hurt an older child and the older child's father slaps him.
The rest of the book intertwines the stories of eight people at the barbecue with how they respond to 'the slap'.
I'm often fascinated by the way one set of parents can believe their strategy is entirely 'correct', while another set of parents can approach a similar issue with a directly contrasting approach. These scenarios often result in adults not being able to spend time together because they approach parenting so differently.
'The Slap' has plenty examples of these scenarios. Close, long-term friendships are threatened as the mother of the child who has been…

Top 10 Skills I've developed as a mum

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Last week I was facing a crisis of confidence wondering if I was actually employable anymore. To make myself feel better I started to ponder all the different skills I HAD actually refined over the past decade.
So (with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek) here are Top 10 Skills I can add to my resume:
#1 Washing up plastic containers really fast
#2 Making cheese toasties really fast
#3 Making the house look presentable - really fast (a theme is emerging)
#4 Negotiating with terrorists (2 year olds are a speciality)
#5 Conflict management
#6 Smiling reassuringly at other adults when child is screaming for tic-tacs/caffeinated drinks/chapsticks/chewing gum whilst stuck in very slow supermarket checkout queue
#7 Creating complex incentive programs for music practice/getting dressed/toileting etc.
#8 Pretending that the bizarre outfit my child is wearing is all part of me allowing them to be 'creative' and 'free' (whereas in reality I was just desperate to leave the h…

Energy levels

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I've been thinking about energy levels a lot recently. I would like to have more energy so I could achieve more. I want to be a person who gets lots done.
However, I've realised that from the outside other people probably do think I get lots done. It's all about my own expectations and the game of 'Comparison' which I'm so fond of playing. 'Comparison' is a game many women play. I play it with people who seem to be able to fit more into their days than me. The limitations of my personality frustrate me.
But that's what it's all about. My own personality. One of the things I do like about getting older is that I've had the opportunity to try different things and different ways of using my time. It means that I'm starting to get a better picture of what 'works' for me in terms of managing the limitations of my energy levels.
What I've learnt is that I can't just keep going and going. In fact, I need to pace mys…

Not Complaining

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Here's a confronting story to remind us why we need to be careful about endlessly complaining to our husbands. (Sydney's Child, Your Views, Aug 2009).
"I'd like to respond to the article At Home and Not Happy (May 2009). The words could have come directly from my wife - the same resentment and anger about being stuck at home with small children. All very understandable and explainable. There is, however, another party involved: the husband, and the situation impacts on him too. When our second child was born, my wife became steadily more resentful towards me. If I went away on a business trip, it was labeled a 'junket' or 'holiday... House tasks were done by her before I'd even noticed they needed to be done, then I was resented for not doing them. The tension increased steadily, and I started drinking regularly to escape. I was told most days about my lack of contribution, about how easy my life was in comparison to hers, about my ever-growing…

Season Closing

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On the weekend Abbie (my 2 1/2 year old) went into a bed. Two weeks earlier I enrolled her in preschool for 2010. Two little events that have made me feel sad.
You might be surprised to discover that the end of the season of small children has been a period of some grief for me. Surprisingly, since, eleven years and five babies later, it has been quite a season! And there are many aspects of the next season that I find exciting and I'm looking forward to.
However, I always thought I would get to a point where I felt completely sure that I had enough of the whole pregnancy/baby deal. But I haven't.
I used to think I was weird but over the years other women have quietly admitted to me that they wouldn't mind having another baby or they feel sad that the stage is ending. If you are at the beginning of this stage or have a small baby you will think we are all mad! And I have plenty of friends who felt they had definitely "finished". But I don't think I&…