Being a mum…hands down the hardest job in the world…

I'll walk to the ends of the earth to take his pains away...

I’ll walk to the ends of the earth to take his pain away…

I can tell you the single moment I learned being a mum is the toughest job in the whole wide world. It was a Spring morning in October eight years ago. I watched my not-quite-three-year-old little boy sleep in the bed beside me. His beautiful lashes with the blonde tips on the ends, firmly closed. I still tell him to this day those lashes were kissed by the angels when he was born. I leave him to sleep a little longer. I want him to stay in peace for as long as he can. When he finally stirs I look into his blue blue eyes  and I do the single most hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a mum. I tell him today is a special day. Today we will say goodbye to his daddy. ‘Daddy is gone to heaven and he’s never coming back,’ I tell him. Even though we lost him five days before that morning I didn’t want him to be scared. I tried and tried to protect him from reality but the time had come and it was my job to shatter his tiny heart into a trillion little pieces.

He tells me ‘No, no!’ in a big voice for an only-just-woken toddler. ‘Daddy’s not dead. He’s at the racecars.’ I am his mum and I can’t lie. I tell him his daddy had an accident in his racecar and he has gone. I will tell him this over and over until his little face bursts into floods of tears, hot red cheeks steaming from his anger, frustration and disbelief. He puts his head back on his pillow as if he’s trying to go back to sleep, to step in reverse from the words he’s just heard from his mummy’s mouth. His mummy, how could she be telling him such horrible horrible things, she’s meant to keep away the pain not stab it in.

That morning I would have rather been anywhere but in that bedroom telling my little boy those words. I would have taken all his pain, his fear and his loss. Syphoned it out with my heart and poured it into my own body so he didn’t have to suffer. That’s what you do when you’re a Mum. You take their pain away…when they’re sick, when they’re scared, when they’re sore and when they’re hurt by the most horrific loss of grief.

It’s the hardest job in the world. It just is. The next time you hear yourself say ‘I’m just a mum’ or ‘She’s just a mum’. Or the next time you think you’re not doing enough. Or the next time you beat yourself up because you’re doing too much…holding down a job, raising kids, keeping a house, just remember there is nothing you can ever do, no job in your life that even comes close to the role of Mum. For those of us who have had to be both a mum and a dad, for those who have taken on other mum’s kids, for those who have spent months and even years trying to become a mum and for those who haven’t got their own mums anymore you probably know this already.

Tomorrow, it’s hospital time once again for this here thirtysomething mama as I try to become a mum to another precious little person. It’ll be our eight time on IVF and I’m more hell bent on beating this asshole affliction than Kim K was to be a Vogue covergirl. I’m lucky enough to already know what it’s like to be a mum and that’s why I’ll never give up trying. Love n’hugs, LadyMamaG xox

 

 

 

 

Sometimes water doesn’t fall from a duck’s back…

a tortured soul...understanding Charlotte's Web

a tortured soul…understanding Charlotte’s Web

Sometimes it sticks like shit to a blanket and hurts like hell. The death of my fellow Kiwi, media personality, model, judge and most importantly online bullying advocate, Charlotte Dawson sent shivers down my spine 0n Saturday. I’d met her (but very briefly) years ago when I was still in the land of sheep n’ L & P and then editing a teenage magazine. Charlotte was working on a story with our sister mag and had come in for Friday night drinks with the girls. I didn’t know much about her past life in Oz – the scandals and all that had followed her home. I just thought she had nice hair, a big smile and one of those voices that instantly commands attention, husky sexy and loud. That was before the birth of my son. A lifetime ago. The next time I saw her was at a lunch here on the GC for the launch of her second book and biography Air Kiss & Tell. She was still gorgeous, glamorous and yep, pretty brash but I like that in a girl.

She signed my book to our book club (yes, we really do have one) and if I’m honest I read the first few pages and shelved it. On Saturday, I found that book and finished it. I felt I owed it to her. Don’t let the first chapter about some stupid blow up doll going missing put you off, this is actually a bloody good read. It’s an insight into the woman who not only battled demons later in life but why she became the woman she was.

Her biological parents were a couple of young teens from Hawera in the North Island who bumped uglies and ended up pregnant in the ’60s and if you’re watching Love Child, you’ll know it wasn’t a good time for unwanted pregnancies to unwed, young mothers. She was adopted into a lovely family who already had two daughters of their own. Her adopted father, an orthopeadic surgeon, died when she was one. In her book she doesn’t hold back. Nothing’s off limits. Not the sexual abuse she suffered as a young child at the hands of a neighbour from church. Not leaving one of Auckland’s most prestigious girls’ schools because it wasn’t for her. Not aborting the unborn baby to her husband Olympic swimmer Scott Miller because it clashed with his hopes for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Not the time she got caught up in a scandalous sex tape fiasco in NZ. Not the harrowing, constant and vindictive abuse she suffered in the media of her homeland where she’d returned to try and rebuild her life after the breakdown of her marriage. Not the public humiliation she suffered when her boyfriend at the time was arrested for white collar crime (and later acquitted) and then dumped her. In her memoir, there’s page after page of things that make your heart hurt. A woman who was constantly searching for something perhaps she didn’t even know what it was herself. Poignantly in one of the last chapters she says she had hoped to ‘feel cherished, loved and respected by just one more man’ before she died.

To blame the pathetic and vitriolic beasts who constantly berated and belittled her about her looks, her personality and her lovelife on an almost daily basis is to give them the credit they so clearly wanted. I refuse. Perhaps she shouldn’t have given in to those who loved to prey on her vulnerability calling her ugly, pathetic, evil. Telling her to go and hang herself. To take her life. How people – and it was mostly other women – can be so vitriolic so filthy and hurtful towards our own species is so utterly bewildering. Last weekend wasn’t the first time she had tried to take her life. It had happened before – she’d taken pills, mixed alcohol. But this time, she wanted to get back at those who had hurt her. The depression Charlotte suffered at the hands of those who attacked her, who had hurt her in the past was so deep felt that not even she was able to switch it off.

She never had children – partly because she never found a man she felt she wanted to procreate with and also because medically she wasn’t able to. Her mum suffered dementia and died some years ago and all she has left are her two sisters and their families who it appears from her book, she adored wholeheartedly.

When I was very young, we lost someone in our family to depression. They took their own life in a similar way to that in which Charlotte did. I guess it was a little bit of anger mixed in with a lot of confusion and mostly sadness that no one wanted them anymore. I never got to know that person but I believe they would have been an incredible influence in my life, with so much to give, share and pass on through a generation different from their own.

If you can get your hands on a copy, do yourself a favour and read her book. Understand the life she led. The pain she felt. The woman she really was.

Rest your weary heart, Ms D. I’m sorry you felt it was the only way out. Love n’hugs, LadyMamaG xox

 

Ups and downs…

I almost died today. I actually thought it was all over. Saw stars in my eyes. Went dizzy felt like I was gonna hurl up my non-existent, liquid, gluten-free breakfast. Honest to Goodness, I thought my number was up. I blame it on my girlfriend. She asked me to come to Barre with her. And while I’d like to tell you that involved learning how to perfect a Margherita or the ingredients to a divine peach martini, there was nudda alcohol (even though I really could have done with some) involved in this particular tryst. The result is I can no longer lift my arms above my head without wincing and I now require assistance to be lowered onto the toilet seat. Sorry. But it’s true. The Barre – and it was my second attempt, (in a row) I might add – was not of the suave inner city drinking kind, but instead of the burn your buns and ballet-kick your legs almost above your head without knocking someone out kind. I’ll be posting naked selfies in no time, I thought. Err, wrong. While our sweet and petite instructor gleefully told me to dig down deep into my squat so I could ‘feel the burn’, I’m not sure if the poor girl behind me appreciated my burn so much. I read somewhere Miranda Kerr or Gisele or someone equally as goddess-like swears by it so I said ‘sign me up to the Gisele-butt’ – except I may never return. Well, not until I can take myself to bloody loo at least.

I'll look like this in no time...

I’ll look like this in no time…

Yes ladies and ladsters, welcome to twenny-one-four…where a new LadyMamaG is about to be unveiled before your very eyes. Oh, I haven’t even told you about my new little journey yet have I? Alright, grab the nearest bottle of Pinot and I’ll fill you in. It’s no secret 2013 was not a very nice year to me. It’s also no secret that we’re still not speaking, so much so that I am now refusing to even acknowledge her other than to say she’s behind me, like waaaaaay out yonder behind denim dungarees and spiral perms, behind me. Along with her seven failed IVF attempts and one lost pregnancy. ‘Get out’, I told her. ‘And don’t you be coming back, y’ hear?’

Despite my need to constantly be in the driver’s seat of my own life I have given way to the patron saint of patience (just for a short time, mind) and decided to take a break from all the nasties that have been invading my body like a deranged PacMan for thirteen odd months. Dr Babies suggested that it might be a good idea to take a short holiday from the fun resort that is IVF and opt down the path of holistic remedies to see if they might help.

I’ll spare you the intrepid details to save you from falling into your computer screen asleep but I did enlist the help of a naturopath, and one who goes by the moniker of Baby Maker, no less. When a fertility-challenged, hormone-hyped, possibly mentally-unstable woman reads those words there is no need for formal introductions, you can go straight to first base thanks very much. After our first meeting where she told me there was a slight possibility my tubes are not in fact blocked (funny, a hysteroscopy, laproscopy and the photographic evidence proves otherwise) and also that age be damned, I’m in fact in the most common age of women trying to conceive you don’t need to ask me twice, sign me up and fill me with whatever it takes, I’ll even dance the tango round the Mulberry bush naked if you think that’ll help.

Only problem is, when you tell a fertility-challenged girl that you might just have the answer to all her hopes and dreams she will literally hang on your every word and hold you so true to it that I would look at maybe switching your address should it not work out. Jo-king. But no really when a girl is as desperate as I am and you tell her that you have a much higher chance of conceiving by following her guide, she is going to hold you to it like a marshmallow on a stick.

Here’s what she’s put me on. Some vial tasting liquid that may or may not be the fermented urine of a rare Alpine elk. Approximately fifty-four different types of ‘uterine-health’ herbs that make me sound like a pair of maraccas when I walk there are so many pills jiggling round in my belly and the best part – a gluten free diet. I’m all for things that make you healthy but seriously there is only so much quinoa, wilted kale and sprinkled flax seeds a girl can take, right? Okay I admit there is a slight possibility I may even feel better for it but oh how I long for a nice bloody crusty French roll and a bowl of pasta.

Apparently all these things are going to get my hormones back on track. Perhaps you should ask The Vet, the 10 y o and possibly even the dog (who always remains my biggest fan) and may all argue that Mrs Bitchypants got a whole lot nastier this month.Thanks to the lovely spirit goddess who ended school holidays this week, lov yah guts baby. Apparently I need to open up my spiritual vessel (eyes up here, thanks) to a more positive and healthy and welcoming state. We’ll see how long that lasts without KFC and bread rolls in my life. Love to all the GF sufferers out there…let’s hold hands, LadyMamaGxox

 

 

Living on a hope and a prayer…

The legend within...hoping for a miracle...

The legend within…hoping for a miracle…

Sometimes even the things we wish for the hardest, no matter how much we burst our heart hoping, praying and willing for things to change, get better, heal or right themselves there is just no fixing them. When the world learned of F1 legend Michael Schumacher’s accident on a ski field, a fierce fear swept through the air. He had hit his head, the most fragile, breakable and often unfixable part of the human body.

He was put into an induced medical coma where, with his family still by his side, he lays today. Unchanged. On his website, his wife says ‘he’s a fighter’. She is keeping vigil beside his bed. Praying for his condition to change. They want him to wake up. They want him to get up and walk out. They want their husband, brother, son, father to open his eyes, smile at them perhaps. For things to go back to how they were a month ago. They want it to be undone, to unravel time back to that day on the mountain and for it to somehow change.

Maybe she is daily telling him, whispering in his ear to keep fighting. To try and wake up. Maybe she is looking for a miracle, in her deepest depths of despair. Maybe she thinks that if she stays beside him so he can hear her, feel her, smell her even, that it will help. Familiarity. Surroundings. Love. Hope. They are all you’re left to offer.

I don’t know him or his wife. I’m just another fan like millions of others around the world. But I know some of his wife’s pain. It is all too familiar. There is nothing greater than a grief that rips control from your very grip, that sees you faced with decisions that are so far beyond you, the fear of loss the fear of never. When all you can do is sit and watch as the constant whir of electronic machines tell you what you don’t want to know. Remind you that they, not you are in control. The ugliest reality of all is the unknown. Like his family, his friends and his fans, I will keep on hoping they can find a way out of this tragedy. Love n’hugs, LadyMamaGxox

 

Laters, twenny-one-three…

a new year, new luck...?

a new year, new luck…?

Dear twenny-one-three, this might hurt a little bit so, like ripping off a week-old band aid, I think it’s best if I come right out and say it: I’m not going to miss you, not one teensy bit. You’ve seemed to lack mostly what I would say is just a mortal thread of common decency. Yes, there have been some wonderful highlights – you’ve seen the decade roll over that was the birth of the 10 y 0, and the greatest day of my life. You’ve seen the first anniversary of the day I married the Most Beautiful Man in the World, and you’ve finally seen the end to open home weekends. But, apart from that, I’ve got a bloody big bone to pick with you because it seems you’ve wanted to throw curve balls at me which ever way I’ve tried to turn. Thirteen has been about as lucky as a black cat crossing in front of you while walking under a ladder, with an umbrella up inside.

As I sit here – in my running shorts that I’m very unlikely to be running in – and try (hard) to think of all the new resolutions I need to make; no more KFC (cravings be damned), actually do my pilates DVD instead of allowing it to gather dust on my bedroom floor, eat nothing but kale, chia seeds, acia berries, quinoa and tofu EVERY night, walk the dog daily and curtail my sailor’s tongue (okay who are we kidding for that last one) I cast my mind back to the days before this year clicked swiftly into the number thirteen that has been about as lucky as Liz Taylor’s wedding vows. Yes, all seven of them.

I’d hardly even heard of Folicle Stimulating Hormone, progesterone, ovulation suppressant and trigger injections, must less known anything about how much they’d become a part of my daily life for the coming year. I’d had two, maybe three general anaesthetics in my lifetime, my thighs didn’t touch at the top and my wardrobe still fit me. I thought testosterone and steroids were for crazy gym junkies whose heads seem like they’re too small for their bodies trying to increase their biceps that one more inch and, here’s the big one, I actually stupidly beligerently believed it would take one go of IVF and I’d be up the knock.

It’s fair to say that twenny-one-three, you’ve been about as kind as Gordon Ramsay in a hot kitchen to this here fertility-challenged thirtysomething…so please please let the new one that arrives tomorrow and takes over from your shift be so much better than you. Laters sista, like a teenager’s training bra you won’t be missed.

Happy and safe New Year my lovely jubblies, love n’ hugs, Lady Mama G xox

A mummy to her boy….

my happy lil' vegemite...

my happy lil’ vegemite…

It was a hot and muggy morning on December 15, 2003. With little wind and zero tolerance having hefted a rather large belly (along with 20-odd other kilo’s) around for the best part of nine months, I’d done everything I possibly could – including cleaning the windows on my hands and knees, drinking castor oil backwards and lying on my back with my feet in the air. Nothing worked, he was going to come when he was good and ready. Turns out 10 y o decided at 530am that Monday morning, he was ready to come into the world. There was very little time for mucking about. After sitting in the bath for 10 minutes, I told my private in-home doctor who was staying with us at the time (and also happens to be one of my besties) we’d better start making a move to the hospital, a 10-minute (save from traffic) trip from our home.

My late husband enjoyed a lead foot moment from time-to-time, god bless him and this was one of those times. He thought the baby might ‘pop on out’ at any moment so ambery-red toned lights were not going to get in his way. I wasn’t in the mood to tell him nothing was ever going to just ‘pop on out’. Well, not with the size of 10 y o’s head at least.

Once we arrived at Greenlane National Women’s Hospital and I got acquainted with the bed, the pethadine and a much needed epidural (that I waited far too long to accept, I might add) I’d barely had enough time to get my birth plan in place and hang my shakra crystals in the windows before little Peanut decided he wanted to make an entrance.

‘If you don’t get him out in this push, we’ll have to cut him out’ the doctor tells me. There were two things I was scared of before I entered that hospital – one was the epidural needle (those buggers are big) and the other was a c-section. I wasn’t having my belly cut open for no person. It seems 10 y o was in such a hurry to arrive, he’d gone and got the cord tied around his neck on his way out. Turns out that’s not very helpful. There was every chance he could have got into big trouble. That was the first time I ever tasted true fear. The next would be two and three-quarter years later when his daddy was taken from us.

At bang on 9.30am (he still likes to sleep in) 10 y o came hurtling into this world with a hiss and a roar. All 8 pounds three ounces of milky blonde hair, olive skin and the most beautiful long lashes with fine blonde tips. His very first milestone. Birth. Love doesn’t even begin to describe it. He was perfect. Soft, sweet and cuddly, he hardly made a sound. When you watch a father hold his baby son for the first time there is the most incredible warmth that starts in your heart and then goes around filling your entire body like sunshine. He was ours and he was perfect.

I could swear it happened only yesterday. But then I blink and a whole decade has flown by without even giving me time to fasten my seat belt.

Oh little Peanut (a moniker affixed to you in-utero) how you have made an imprint on our hearts. From the first moment you smiled at us and then never stopped, your hearty little giggle that made everyone smile to your first steps taken only hours after your first birthday. From finally cutting your first tooth – which took forever to come up, to strapping on your Wiggles backpack for your first day of kindy. From the first painting you made us (with beautiful bright ‘presents’) to learning to ride your little orange two-wheel bike all by yourself. From your first day of school – in a bag that almost came down to your ankles, tiny pins hanging out from t00-big-for you shorts and a hat that we could only see you underneath when you tilted your head back to laugh. From your first soccer game to your first school concert. From the first time you told me you loved me to wishing on the brightest star in the big night sky that was your daddy shining down on you. From when you learnt to write your name to when you squealed with excitement that you could ‘tie your shoes all by my own self’. From when your tiny little hands held my face and told me to ‘please stop being sad, mummy’ when your own head didn’t understand what happened to us, to when you held my hand in the taxi on the way to our wedding. From your own rendition of Gang’em Style to wearing your nude coloured skins on their own. From your first school award to topping your best in subjects you love. From the time you held my hand and told me I was brave, kissing my head to the biggest and bestest hugs you are still not afraid to give. Every. Single. Moment since 9.30am on Monday, December 15, 2003 has been the best moment ever.

Big 10 y o boy, I love that you’re cheeky and charming at the same time. I love that you’re not afraid to sing, dance or leap up in the air. I love that you’re happy to still be a kid. I love that your imagination sees you believe in the greatest of dreams. I love that your heart is so big and your mind is so kind. I love that you’re generous even though there’s only you. I love that you love The Vet so much that you always put him first. I love that when you smile, it takes up your whole entire face. I love those times when you tell me I’m beautiful and the best mummy in the world, not even winning lotto could beat. I love that you still let me dress you and fix your hair. I love that you’re strong even though you’ve been through a loss that’s so much bigger than you. I love that you’re honest and say things even when you probably shouldn’t. I love that you’re so very clever and witty yet humble enough too. But most of all, do you know what…? I love that you picked me to be your mummy.

You were my greatest gift ever. Thank you my baby boy. Love n’ hugs, Lady MamaGxox

flynnmama

 

Gender Bender: Girls play with dolls and wear pink…right?

'80s dolls...Sindy v Barbie

’80s dolls…Sindy v Barbie

Over my morning cup of cider vinegar and honey the other morning I started reading a newspaper column by a woman who was banging on about boys toys and girls toys. She said, as a kid she never played with dolls and hated pink. I’m not sure what it meant for her as an adult but I’m afraid to say, what you play with and the colour of your clothing has absolutely jack to do with what you had when you were little. It probably encourages the opposite.

Take me for example. I was fortunate to have a very blunt, very boyish bowl cut until I was 10 or 12, by then I was old enough to decide for myself and for some strange reason informed the hairdresser I wanted a permed mullet. I know those two words shouldn’t be used in the same sentence but the ’80s were not a kind fashion decade. To anyone.

When I was a baby, in what could be considered child cruelty, my mother dressed me in my brother’s hand-me-down blue t-shirts and romper suits, to which people would comment she had a ‘very handsome baby boy’. I wasn’t impressed. Then or now. I was a fat, bald and ugly baby but that’s beside the point, you don’t put a baby girl in blue. End of. I was never ever dressed in pink. Not even a slight shade of fuchsia instead my mother bought  me denim dungarees, stripey skivvies and t-shirts – which complemented the bowl cut rather nicely, I’m assuming.

Barbie and her big boobs were not welcome in my house. Apparently they weren’t realistic. Neither was her tiny waist. Instead I had to make do with my flat-chested Sindy doll who did have an unusually large head for her body (clearly that was a tolerable design fault) as well as Daisy, who I think may have been Barbie’s flat-chested, fuzzy-haired younger sister. I also liked playing with my brother’s Action Man in his little blue plastic undies. Trying to keep me from Barbie and her boobs, and her pink everything didn’t work one bit. I spent my late teens stuffing my bras full of padding and wearing chicken fillets to boost my almost non-existent bust. As well as wearing anything and everything pink I could get my hands on. My hair’s been at least past my shoulders for the better part of my ’20s and ’30s and thanks to the wonders of modern ingenuity, a decent bust can be afforded by a good bra with a pair of built-in gel pads.

And as a mum myself, I was never one of those who wouldn’t let my son play with dolls and as most of his friends in his toddler years consisted of girls, he was often seen pushing a doll’s pram and floating around the house in dress ups. When he would stay over at friends’ houses, it wasn’t unusual for him to wear their daughter’s pink pyjamas without so much as a hiccup of protest. He’s even happy to wear the pink t-shirts I insist on buying him, because I think they bring out the blue in his eyes. But like his Daddy, he’s certainly a bloke’s bloke. Hard-wired from birth.

A child is only going to want what it can’t have – be that Barbie and her big boobs, Action Man or Tonka trucks. Get over it already…Love n’hugs, Lady MamaGxox