The Impact of the Internet and Porn on Sex

I briefly wrote about my experiences with casual sex last year and they were absolutely awful. I had spent years shut down in my marriage and was really dying for a connection. I was conflicted about meaningless one night stands yet I also wasn’t ready for a serious relationship. I did make this clear but of course there are guys that will do anything to get just one thing and then discard you like a piece of rubbish. I was quite naïve because I’d never dated or had one night stands. I think I had a sign on my head that said naive and vulnerable because I attracted the wrong type of guys. Some guys are really good actors and I think my radar was switched off. It was a huge blow to be lied to, used and manipulated for sex. I basically wasn’t a person, I was just a number and a way to get off.  Growing up my Mum used to tell me to wait before sleeping with a guy because then you know that they like and respect you. I actually think it is good advice, in an ideal world women can experiment, enjoy themselves and feel empowered but in reality it’s not always the case.  I understand there are women who take the good with the bad and are happy to continue experimenting with casual sex. I respect their choice. My experiences last year were traumatic enough for me to not want to participate in casual sex. Aside from traumatic sex (I’ll go into more detail later in this blog), there’s shit sex and then there’s too many arseholes that only care about themselves getting off. It’s a waste of time for me and I’d prefer to be drinking tea and watching Netflix. I can take care of my own needs much better than any man can. Yes physical intimacy is something we crave and I hope to be intimate again with some one in the future who likes and respects me.

In this day and age there is a big hook up culture. When I was sixteen and in high school it was normal for a lot of girls have sex with their boyfriends and I do have some friends who have had a period of experimenting with casual sex, but that was before smart phones, the internet and social media. Sadly today many teenage boys grow up on porn and they think that is how sex is supposed to be. There is a big difference between two consenting adults who have a mutual interest in BDSM, at least they have a safe word, compared to boys who grow up on hardcore porn and then try to act it out during sex because they think it is normal. These are two completely different things. They don’t understand women and they don’t know how to show emotion or be intimate. Which of course most young men  learn these things as they mature. What I’m talking about is much worse than the typical young man who was around I was younger. Of course the typical young man usually has one thing on their minds but how some treat women and act during sex seems to be worse. There are also young women also think this is normal and that they have to put out. I have younger friends who are afraid of losing their boyfriends if they don’t sleep with them and they have only been today a couple of weeks or not even official yet.

Last year I had a terrible very drunk one night stand which left me bruised and with flash backs of being chocked, forced to do a blow job that made me gag and then awaking alone in the car in a car park with the doors unlocked. It was a shameful moment and the experience that broke the camels back. I had separated from my husband earlier that year of ten years and it was only eight weeks earlier I had been date raped. The first three months after my break down were very emotional and then the following five months I was constantly physically sick. I had so many tests but nothing showed. On wards and upwards, I’m beginning to feel good and it was only last night I watched a couple of documentaries.  I discovered choking during sex was a thing.  I found out a friend because a friend of mine had the same thing happen. I googled it and sure enough it is a thing. Another friend of mine said she had a guy try and spit into her mouth and that spitting was also a thing. I didn’t realise until last night a forced blow job was a thing. The documentary was about teen girls aged eighteen to nineteen who were promised money, glamour and popularity. At first they were amazed at how much money they were making, how many followers they were getting on social media and how much of an ego boost it was to be treated like a princess and have guys want them so badly. They ended up in some really messed up situations. Abuse porn is a big thing and it is where the girls are raped and abused on film. One of the girls was forced to do a blow job and it was so hardcore that she vomited and the guy forced her to lick it up off the floor. They may have agreed to it and were getting paid but I don’t think they realised what they were getting into because they looked traumatised. Most of the girls didn’t last long doing porn and returned to their families shaken, wondering what on earth they were doing and why did they want money so badly.

I understand there are people out there who are happy to have casual sex, who aren’t monogamous, that there are people who like porn and who have fetishes. I’m not going to judge, I’m all for free choice, people feeling empowered and doing things they enjoy. What I have trouble getting my head around is why totally unemotional sex with out respect is such a big thing. Nearly one third of all internet pornography clips contain physical acts of aggression. Women are the targets of that aggression 94% of the time. It is as though the rise of the internet and social media has actually disconnected us more instead of connecting us. It seems it is more common to be socially awkward, lack emotional depth and the ability to be intimate. So many people are engrossed in this digital world that they lack connection to the world around them.

While watching the life beyond porn it was interesting to hear one of the women say that it is all acting and that they don’t feel anything during sex, it is just like a cavity being filled, for example putting a finger in your ear or nostril. It feels like a nothing. One of the ex male porn stars said it is dehumanising and even after leaving, you can never escape it. Some one will always recognise you and that it is the same people that were jacking of to you who shun you. Another former male porn star said it is very animalistic. The documentary was actually a bit sad how some women want attention and to be accepted that much, that porn temporarily gives that ego boost. I didn’t find it surprising that some end up alcoholics and taking drugs. Some had difficult childhoods and were abused, some were single Mums. I’m aware that there are people who love doing porn and who revel in it, but there are a lot of people who don’t and are there for other reasons.

Whatever peoples reasons are for doing things, they still made choices. Just as I got myself into the situations I was in last year. We don’t always make choices that are good for us. That’s life and in my experience, all I can do is forgive myself, see it as an experience and some lessons learned. I can’t do much about my past, but as a parent, I do worry about my kids. Statistics say 40% of kids has watched porn by the time they are 14 years old. I do plan to talk to my kids about my experiences when they are older, I even want to show them documentaries like these so they are more educated. I want my girls to be informed and to have a strong sense of self worth so they make good decisions and are able to say know when something doesn’t feel right. I want them to do things because they truly make them happy and fulfilled, not because they lack self worth or short term money. I want them to know their worth and not to accept anything less than they deserve. I want to raise my son to be understanding of women and to treat them with respect. Sex is the oldest profession in the world, porn is not a new thing and casual sex has always existed  but I think the dangers are much greater since the rise of the internet and social media.  Our kids have to deal with things like online bullying, online dating, online porn, grooming and pedaphiles. These are things we never had to deal with when I was younger. At some point kids  when I was younger may have stumbled across a play boy mag or a porn video but it was not something that was easily accessible or that we were constantly bombarded with. It seems like the world is a minefield when it comes to parenting and I’m going to have a navigate this minefield.  I know I can’t live my life in fear, living in fear isn’t much of a life. All I can do is my best. I would love hear peoples thoughts and feedback on this blog)

(note: some of the information in the blog is from the  Netflix documentaries ‘Life Beyond Porn’, ‘Hot Girls Wanted’ and ‘Turned On.’)

Equal and Worthy

This is a photo me when I was thirteen years old. My Mum took the photo on my grandmothers wharf.  I have chosen this photo because it a very vulnerable time for me in my life, I have gone into more detail in another blog

This is a photo me when I was thirteen years old. My Mum took the photo on my grandmothers wharf. I have chosen this photo because it a very vulnerable time for me in my life, I have gone into more detail in another blog ‘My Version of 13 Reasons Why’My Version of 13 Reasons Why’.

As a mother I don’t know how many times I’ve heard comments like ‘your lucky your husband helps around the house’ or ‘where are the kids, is your husband babysitting’? Isn’t looking after your own kids called parenting regardless of whether you are a man or a woman? If the kids are both ours, we both work and both live in the house, then isn’t it fair that he would do some of the house work? The other thing that bugs me and I know also bugs many other Mums is how a Dad can take the kids out and get comments about how he is such a good Dad. Which he probably is, but the Mum never gets any compliments. She usually gets comments as to what she should or shouldn’t be doing. The exact same thing happens when Dads post on social media compared to when Mum’s post. One of the first questions I was asked by many people after I had my four babies was ‘when are you returning to work’. These days there is a much bigger expectation that women who have kids work, whilst those who don’t tend be judged more for staying home. In the past women were judged who didn’t stay home but now it seems the scale has tipped in the opposite direction. I know many women who feel guilt for staying at home because they don’t feel like they are contributing enough and they have also experienced judgement from others. It is fantastic that women are able to work but there is no need for all this guilt and judgement. I also wonder why there aren’t more jobs available the are within school hours. Because fitting into a standard 9am-5pm job means that we have to cover costs such as daycare, before and after school care. These costs take a large amount of our pay. The other cost of working 9am-5pm means the kids no longer have parents walking them into school when being dropped off and picked, then being there for them in the afternoon to give them afternoon tea and do homework with them. It is a mans working world and women with children are trying to fit into that instead society making more family friendly jobs available. The gender pay gap is also another issue for many, I personally am not affected by it but I think it is worthy mentioning here considering it is an issue.

From the beginning of time it  seems sexism is rife. In this age where men and women are supposed to be equal, there are many ways women are just not equal and this starts from a young age.  Boys and girls see their mothers doing the majority of the house work and cooking whilst their Dads watch football and drink beer. I know that is a very generalised comment, there are some men who are very good cooks and women who also like to watch the footy. I’m just trying to paint a picture and I’ve have actually witnessed this a lot. The 2016 census results revealed women still do the majority of house work regardless of whether they work or not and a whopping one in four adult Australian men doen’t do abosolutely any housework at all.

A lot of kids are given gender appropriate toys and are scolded if they play with a so called in appropriate toy. I think fair enough if kids are drawn to certain toys, there is a lot of argument that they may in fact have been conditioned to be drawn to certain toys. I’m not going to argue whether they are conditioned or not but I have known little boys who aren’t allowed a toy kitchen, to play with ‘girls’ toys or to do dancing class because they are girls things. They hear phrases like ‘such and such is for a girl’ and ‘don’t be a girl’. On TV, the internet and magazines little girls and boys are bombarded of images of what is considered beautiful and most models are pretty skinny, tall and with all their make up they look glamorous There is nothing wrong with being skinny or wearing make up but they do not reflect all women. A large percentage of women do not look this way and  are not this body type. A lot of time  the women they see are sexualised.

As boys begin to get older their peers make sexist comments, sexist jokes and inappropriate grabbing is thought to be ok by many teenage boys and some young men, they just brush sexual harassment off as just a joke. Girls are much more likely to be slut shamed than guys. In this age where both men an women are supposed to have equal sexual freedom to participate in casual sex if they wish, the woman is still judged more harshly. It is much easier for a women to fall for a guy they have a casual encounter with, This is because we release a bonding chemical during sex. However with men, emotion and sex are in different regions of the brain. There for he won’t see or feel the same way for a woman he hooks up with, compared to a some one he feels something for and wants more from. A guy is also  less likely to not want any more from a hook up because he’s already got all he can from her and doesn’t want to be with some one who sleeps around. However it is much more acceptable for a man to engage regularly in casual sex until he finds a partner. This whole hook up culture is supposed to be women’s chance to explore their sexuality and feel empowered but many women’s experiences are far from empowering. The hook up culture is more beneficial for men. About 80% of males reach orgasm whilst only 40% of women do. This being partly due to the guy not making as effort with some one he doesn’t care for and not understanding how to satisy a woman sexually. Women experience a much higher rate of negative emotion afterwards. Emotions such as regret, shame and feelings of worthlessness. A big part of this post hook up hang over is due to societies double standards and because of men’s, especially younger men’s lack of understanding of the sexual and emotional differences between men and women. There is equal opportunity for both sexes to participate however it is more beneficial to one of the sexes because we are different. Yes some men have more feminine brains and some women more masculine, this has nothing to do with sexual orientation. What  I’m talking about some of the basic differences in how we are wired and it is something that people don’t seem to talk about or educate our kids about. It is always the girls who have to protect themselves. They are told they are ‘just being boys’.

When I say this, I’m not talking about absolutely everyone, but the girl being too emotional and the guy not getting it is a common thing. Especially when younger. Too often it is said to girls ‘your too emotional’ and ‘get over it’. If a guy is appearing to be an arse then people often say ‘well he’s just young’ or ‘he’s just being a guy’. Yes maybe young and unaware, but is that an excuse for disrespecting women and treating them poorly? I wonder if some of this ignorance would be avoided if they actually taught the emotional and sexual differences between men and women in high school. Communication would be a good thing to teach as well. A lot of people fumble through relationships not being able to understand each other properly because they don’t have the communication skills. Many times where it seems a guy is being an arse or the woman over emotional is just a lack in understanding of each other. As we grow past our teen years and early twenties, many of us know this and begin to understand the opposite sex a bit better.  I know every one has to go through their own lessons and heart breaks but I think a lot of hurt and misunderstanding can be avoided if high school kids are taught some of these life skills. Instead of just the physical side of sex education and the importance of protection maybe a whole subject on relationships would be beneficial. I wonder if teaching some of these things would also help reduce some of the sexism in our society.We have made great scientific advances, become more connected with our world and people through social media and the internet, yet we are not so good at relationships, interacting on a personally level and really understanding each other. Often the women are the ones who are trying to fit into a man’s world. We dim our emotions, pretend we are sexually the same and stay silent on things that matter. When we don’t feel comfortable with something or as though we are not being treated right, too often we brush it off and tell ourselves things like ‘I’m over reacting’ etc. Young women especially have a tendency to do this and put on a front, yet the guys don’t know how much women are holding in behind the mask. They don’t realise the struggle and often don’t realise the impact of their behaviour. I locked myself up for years afraid to say how I really felt, but in doing this I denied myself and i was taken advantage of too many times. One thing I realised is that usually people don’t intentionally hurt others, they are often unaware of how they are affecting another person and do not realise until they are told. If no one tells any one anything, how are they ever supposed to know? Yes there are men out there who are intentionally being predators. I think it is so important to teach our girls to have a voice, to be assertive, confident in who they are and express themselves with ease. We can talk about sexism and change until the cows come home, but we need to be the change we want to see by modelling that behaviour to our children and confidently using our voices. Using our voices only goes so far, the deeply ingrained attitudes of society can only be changed by also educating our children.

It is quite easy to brush off what I’m saying as ‘making a big deal over things’ but I’ve experienced sexism my whole life. 1 in 6 women has been raped, 1 in 5 young women/teenage girls has been pressured into sexual activities, In a lifetime 1 in 5 women have been stalked or experiences sexual harassment, 1 in 4 has experience emotional abuse or sexual assault and 1 in three has experienced physical violence. I have experienced all of them. Pretty much since I was 12 years old there have been many times I have experience inappropriate sexual comments, grabbing and jokes. I am one of of every one of those statistic I just mentioned. I have been stalked, sexually assaulted, raped and experienced both emotional and physical abuse from different men. I am just one person and many of the women I know have also experienced these things. If you are reading this, then you would also know a woman, at least one, probably more that fit into these statistic.

Isn’t it Ironic

We all know Alanis Morisettes ‘Ironic’ song well. I have days where it feels the song is about my life. Traffic jams when I’m already late or an empty tank of petrol. Every day at work it may not be ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife but it definitely is ten thousand forks when all you need is a spoon. I don’t think irony is the only issue for me. I think it is little bit of irony combined with being over tired and stressed, which results in having brain freeze.  They do say that once you have baby brain you always have it. The past couple of days has had a bit of both. Well maybe more brain farts. It was only yesterday I had to break into my own house because I locked my keys inside. I mentioned in a previous blog that I so far had only used my camera for photos of the kids and family events. So I have finally begun to experiment with photography of scenery and interesting objects. My camera has so many functions that I look forward to learning about.  Yesterday I went to Umina beach, it was a beautiful day, perfect for taking some photos. I took my camera along and of course the battery was flat because I had forgotten to charge it. Oh well no big deal, it was still a good day with my two eldest girls. They played at the park, we walked on the beach and had afternoon tea at the beach kiosk.

On the way home I stopped at Bunnings because I had to pick up some shears to do some gardening with and get some wood for the kids cubby house. I also had a purchase order to pick up some things for work . I spent two hours there and the kids were stir crazy. Then I had trouble fitting everything in the car. I had to get the girls to squish in to the seats in the middle. They have the larger car seats in the back row and my younger two have smaller seats in the middle. I put one of the back seats down, two would have been better but there was too much stuff in the way as well as the car seats. Almost everything was in except for the big square piece of wood for the cubby. I had trouble getting it in and was beginning to think I might have to leave it behind. I finally managed to get it in. Note to self, next time I plan to do a big Bunnings shop, go with out the kids, take the car seats out and put both back seats down before I try to put anything in.

Today I bought some Homyped thongs so my feet are better supported. I have always had a tendency to get sore arches and have really been noticing it lately because I’ve been wearing cheap, flat thongs. I found some but they were sixty nine dollars which I thought was expensive. I know Homyped shoes are usually expensive for shoes but last tine I bought thongs it was a couple of years ago and  I bought two pairs that were $35 each. I decided to buy the sixty nine dollar thongs because I needed to wear them asap. The bottoms of my feet were aching. I immediately took my old thongs off, threw them in the rubbish bin and put my new ones on. Before leaving the shops to go home I was going to pick up some dinner. I was walking past the chinese take away and stopped to have a look. I decided to buy the oyster chicken and Mongolian lamb for. I went to get some money out of the ATM and then returned to the takaway shop. I opened my purse to get the money out and it wasn’t there. I searched my whole purse and bag and still could not find the money. I went back to the ATM and the money wasn’t there either I looked at a mini statement on the atm and the $20 had been withdrawn. Damn, I must have left the money at the ATM and some one else must have taken it. I decided to buy a BBQ chicken instead, which which probably was a better option for me considering I’ve been having a lot of IBS trouble. As I was about to go to the car park, I walked past a Chemist that has a clearance sale on Homyped shoes. The thongs were $25.95 and the shoes $39. I could have bought 2-3 pairs for the same price. Oh well, there was not much I could do. My old thongs were in the bin and I was already wearing the new ones. ;

Little moments like this are a bit of a nuisance at the time, but they are something to laugh about. As they say ‘laughter is good medicine’. It is good to be able to laugh at ourselves and I believe a healthy thing to see things in a positive light. Everything happens for a reason and the only thing that makes anything negative is our attitude. . I am just thankful I had a good day at the beach with the kids yesterday, bought the things I needed from Bunnings and now have new thongs.

Forgetful Tooth Fairy

This is a photo of my second eldest daughter and obviously she has lost her two front teeth. She had her tooth in a little zip lock bag and placed them under her pillow for the tooth fairy. I told myself ‘this time I have to remember to do my tooth fairy duties. I had planned to put a gold coin under her pillow after all the kids went to sleep. I have been sick for most of this year and had just started a detox in the hope of staying better. All day I had been so tired with a massive head ache. So I went to bed at the same time as kids did, fell asleep and forgot all about my tooth fairy duties. It’s not the first time I had forgotten and I really wanted to remember this time. Sure enough, in the morning Gabrielle says to me ‘Mummy the tooth fairy hasn’t been’ and when she said that I thought to myself ‘oh shit I forgot again’! Gabrielle said ‘the tooth fairy always comes in the morning, maybe she will come this morning.’ I went to my bag, put my hand in to find my purse and quickly pulled out a 2 gold coins and hid them in my pocket. This time I grabbed 2 coins to make up for the tooth fairy not coming last time when she was at her Dads.  I had to find an opportunity to sneak into the bedroom, get the tooth and replace it with the coins. I was waiting and then finally Gabrielle went out to the back deck, Shalia was getting dressed in the lounge room and Phoenix was eating cereal at their little kids table. She was happy  when she checked under the pillow but then said ‘when the tooth fairy came to Shalia she got a coin and a bracelet, I want a toy too.’ I said ‘well why don’t you ask the tooth fairy so she knows next time.’ Last time Shalia lost a tooth I remembered to be the tooth fairy but I didn’t have a gold coin, so instead I put two fifty cent pieces and a toy bracelet under her pillow. Note to self ‘when I go Easter shopping tomorrow, buy some little things to go with the coin for next time the tooth fairy comes.’ This is all the fun of being a parent.

Today I was still really tired and was so looking forward to coming home. As soon as I arrived home I jumped in the shower and put on my pj’s. Being on a detox there is only certain things I can eat but I really enjoyed having rye bread with hommus spread and mushroom, egg and baby spinach on top. I relaxed on the lounge in front of Netflix with a herbal tea. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that are bliss.

Making wishes reality

My six year old came home from school with a mini jar or wish dust that her teacher gave her from the surprise box. That night she made a wish and so did my five year old. At the time I didn’t know they made a wish. The following morning my five year old was a bit disappointed and said to me ‘Mummy, our wishes didn’t come true.’ I was in a rush and just about to leave to go to do my first aid certificate. I said ‘wishes don’t always come true straight away, you have to work to make them come true.’ Then I left and didn’t think any more about the wish jar until that night when they made a wish again. They had been really good for their father while I was gone and very helpful. They did all their chores and did beyond their chores. That night they made another wish before going to bed. It turns out they had been so good and did all their chores because they thought their wishes will come true in the morning. They are young kids and have a fairy tale type understanding of wishes. I didn’t want them to wake disappointed again. It was a hectic day and I didn’t get the chance to have a good talk to them. I wasn’t even sure exactly what to say. I decided to write them a letter. This is the letter I wrote;

Dear Shalia, Gabrielle & Indigo

We have heard your wishes and want you to know that anything is possible but is also up to you to help make it happen. Wishes don’t usually happen overnight. They take time, sometimes they might take a few days, a few weeks, a few months or even longer. Sometimes wishes don’t come true and that is because God and the angels have something better planned for you. If there is something you really really want, then the best thing to do is:

• Be good and work hard every day, not just on the days you make a wish.

• Be thankful for all the things you already have. God gives more to people who are happy with what they already have.

• Write down your wish on a piece of paper and leave it in a special jar because your wishes are more likely to come true if they are in writing. Your Mummy can help you make a special wish jar.

• Say a little prayer each day. Your Mummy can teach you some nice prayers. When you pray God and the angels can help you to feel happy, help you to feel safe, help you to have the energy to do all your work and help you to make your wishes come true.

We can all work together in trying to make your wishes come true. We look forward to hearing your prayers and reading your wishes in your wish jar.

Lots of love God & the angels

The following day I took all three of my girls to the Hot Dollar Shop and we bought some things to make their wish jars. They love craft, so it was a good craft activity. The photo of the red, yellow/green and blue plastic bottle are their finished wish jars.

I’ve said before I’m not a religious person. Definitely more spiritual. I would like my kids live a spiritual life but with out all the religious stuff. I’d like them to learn about different religions and know they all have something good to teach and that there are many great spiritual teachers. I don’t want to push anything on them. They can decide how they would like to live their spiritual life, that’s if they are drawn to spirituality or a particular religion. At school they do scripture but I’ve just changed Shalia to ethics. It seemed more suitable for her. When I enrolled them into school I had to choose whether I want them to do scripture or ethics. I don’t mind scripture depending on how it is taught. I wasn’t too happy the other day when Shalia came home after scripture and was telling me that God gets angry if you do the wrong thing. I w0nder why we have to choose between scripture and ethics. Why can’t they have the option of religion and ethics? There would be much more understanding in the world if kids were taught about a range religions. I also think ethics is relevant for every one, not just non-scripture kids. Of course this is just my opinion and I know there would be some parents who would be very against their kids learning about religions other than the one they believe in. It would still be good if the option was there for those who want it.

Is it possible to have our own spiritual journey in a secular society? Is it possible to still have the fairy tale but also be realistic? I think so, well I’m having a good go at it.

 

When failure isn’t failure but instead making a better choice

It’s a new year, so I’ve done a lot of clearing out and sorting because I’ve had a bit more time over the holidays. Drawers and cupboards never stay tidy for long here, especially in the kids rooms. It at least feels good while it lasts.  At least all their clothes are sorted for hopefully the next year. Phoenix is in size 1 and the sorted size 2’s are in the bottom of his wardrobe and 3’s are on top of the spare room wardrobe. Well it’s sort of a room or walk through space in the middle of the house. I pulled all the size 4’s out of Shalia and Gabrielle’s room. They are now under Indigo’s bed because she is currently in size 3. Size 5’s are now in Shalia and Gabrielle’s room. There’s some size sixes in the top of their wardrobe and the rest are with some bigger clothes and Phoenix’s bigger clothes in the  spare wardrobe. All the sorting take’s time but I am thankful we have plenty of clothes for all four kids. I don’t mind at all that they are all second-hand, there are plenty of people around the world who only have the clothes on their backs. I also managed to tidy the spare built-in.

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Since I was clearing I also decided to do a little self cleansing detox and tried to do a 2-day coconut detox. I already knew that the no food one’s can be hard on your body. This one involved drinking a coconut lemon drink three times a day,  recommended not eating but if you must eat then a piece of fruit as a snack and a cup of steamed green veggies at dinner. Light exercise such as pilates and yoga are also recommended. I thought ‘oh it’s only 2 days and I can have some food if I really need to. Day 1 I was soooo hungry all the time. I did have fruit as a snack and the green vegetables for dinner. During the day I even had some cashews to try to get a little bit of protein. I know there can be side affects to detox’s but my body was screaming out for protein. I remember in some nutritional training I did years ago that it best to always eat a little bit of protein with fruit. So I had some cashews with my fruit even though it wasn’t part of the cleanse.I was that hungry and tired that a bowl of steamed green vegetables was actually exciting. At bed time I realised it was the beginning of that time of the month and thought to myself ‘oh great timing’!

Day two of the cleanse I woke up tired and achy. Which wasn’t overly strange because I had been tired, achy and nauseous on and off over the past week and it’s also pretty normal for me to feel like that when it’s that time of the month.  My hunger was manageable at that point but it quickly increased and so did feeling tired and achy. I  dropped my 2 eldest at a kids Leggo building workshop for a couple of hours and had this great idea of taking the younger 2 to a play center while waiting to pick them up. That was all good except it was a really hot day, so it was hot getting every one in out the car to drop off at leggo, then play center and then back to pick up from leggo. At one point my phone said the outside temperature was 45 degrees. We were all hot still with the aircon on in the car. I know we’re lucky to have aircon in the car, there are people around the world who live in that type of weather every day. The heat probably wouldn’t have been as much as an issue if I wasn’t doing a cleanse. It just added to the exhaustion. The play center didn’t go as planed either. Instead of having a nice relaxing fun time, it was exhausting. Phoenix hit a baby that is much smaller than him. The Dad looked at me in shock at first, I apologised and quickly moved Phoenix away to the ball pit where repeatedly hit a boy. The boy was a bit bigger. He was maybe 3 and Phoenix is 16 months. The little boy was very upset and I had to remove Phoenix from the ball pit. His parents came and got the little boy and took him out of the play area. I apologised again, because it turns out they were the same parents of the baby that he hit before.  I had my eye on him the whole time but had to spend the rest of the of the time running after to him as though I was glued to his side so I could stop him. I’ll just add in here that I do teach him not to hit, so before any one decides to add in here what I should or shouldn’t have been doing with the whole hitting thing, I was doing my best, had my 3 year old there playing also and not interested in what you have to say. I’m just telling my story and not asking for advice  So all this chasing after Phoenix and also trying to toilet Indigo with Phoenix in tow made me exhausted and hungry to the point that I was thinking of actually eating because I wasn’t functioning well and that is not good when you are looking after little kids. We left the play centre to pick up the girls from Lego and I even noticed my response time in the car was less than usual. That’s pretty dangerous driving and having a slow response, so I pulled into Maccas and got a fillet of fish. We picked up the girls and on the way home every one was sweaty with red faces, so I pulled into another Maccas closer to home and got us all a soft serve and myself an Angus burger.

Well was that an epic failure of a 2 day cleanse? I possibly could have eaten something better than Maccas but I wasn’t going to pull over in the heat and drag the kids around to find some healthier food.  I was completely wiped out so I did what I had to do. I was still wiped out when I got home but the food allowed me to pick up and function more normally. I was able to look after the kids for the rest of the day, bath them, feed them and do basic house duties. I was still tired and achy but was functioning. So I don’t think it’s a failure, it was just bad timing. I tend to get a whole body tension/ache when it’s leading up to that time of the month and for the first couple of days. It’s almost like I’m coming down with a cold but it’s not a cold. The heat didn’t help and neither did running around after four kids. I imagine it might be doable if you had a free weekend with no one else around to worry about. Where you can do yoga at your own leisure, sleep in and nap when needed. Wait a minute, I never ever have a weekend like that. I’m a Mum of four young kids. I’m all for us Mum’s doing things to look after ourselves, I’m all for us Mum’s having friends and interests. Yes it is harder and less frequent to do the things we want but it is possible. I have to say in this case, yes I made it possible but was it the right thing for me at this point in time? Hell no!  I still managed to lose 2kg in 1.5 days. That’s what I put on over Christmas. More importantly, healthy eating is a much more balanced and better option for me at the moment. Most of all, the kids had a good day yesterday at Lego and the play center. I would call that a win. So here I am today, I still tired and ache, but at least I am eating properly and I can look back, learn from my experience and also laugh. Especially at how I went to Coles last night to get some milk and a few other things. I paid and then was wheeling my trolley to the car and some one ran out after me and said ‘hey, you’ve forgotten your stuff.’ I looked down in my trolley, it was empty and I didn’t have my four bags of shopping. I had left them at the counter and just walked out with my trolley and no shopping.

Times have changed but some things are still the same

When it comes to kid friendly places I definitely think we have progressed compared to when I was a kid. This is a new little play area in the middle of one of my local shopping centers. Within in walking distance is a parents room with change tables, breast-feeding cubicle and kids sized toilets. It makes shopping with the kids much easier. I never go shopping with all 4 kids and don’t like to even go with my younger three while my eldest is at school. It can be hard work, the kids get bored and I hate the awkwardness and judge mental stares you can get if your kid, god forbid whines, chucks a tantrum or they decide to fight against each other. Which in reality is kids being kids and can still happen no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t make you an asshole parent. There a big difference between kids being kids and asshole parents. Majority of parents aren’t assholes. I found this set up much more doable with the kids. I parked the car, loaded all three kids into the trolley, did some shopping, we had morning tea, then the kids played in the play area. After morning I took them to the bathroom. Well actually we had 3 bathroom trips in that time. All three girls went, then my youngest needed to go and then one minute after leaving the toilet my youngest decided she needed to go. It was no big hassle though because the family toilet was close to both the play area and Kmart.  At this point we went home  however we easily could have done a bit more shopping which is never happens because they just get bored with shopping. This whole kid friendly set up made it possible. When I was younger and my Mum took my brother and I out, there was none of this family/kid friendly stuff around.

 

There are many ways we have progressed with pregnancy and post natal care, play groups and even family payments from the government. Women are able to work, study and also be a Mum. I know a lot of these things didn’t exist in my mother’s day and even more so in my grandmothers day. I have a lot of admiration for the sacrifice and hard work they put in with little or no support. Yes we have come along way but I also think we still have a long way to go. Especially when it comes to attitudes and perceptions of Mum’s. It is as though our society has a big attitude and negative thought form out there that doesn’t values or respects motherhood. Work is the ideal and more and more women are working who have young kids. They are going back to work when their babies are so small. It is their choice and I respect that. I have gone back to work after having babies, so I am not being critical. My point is one of the first question we are asked after popping out a baby is ‘when are you going back to work’? I have come across stay at home Mum’s who somehow feel inadequate or not worthy because they are not working. Why is raising the next generation no longer valued or considered worthy?  Then for many Mums with young kids who work. well their work load has almost doubled because they are still taking care of the running of the house and working as well.  It is though our societies values have gone from  believing women should stay at home with the kids and do not work to believing work is most valued even for women who have young kids. The government is even trying to get Mum’s with young kids back into work.  It’s great there is all this support for working, however there are a lot of working Mum’s who would like to stay home but they not only need to make an income, they also get a lot more support from the government if they are working. Paid parental leave, child friendly areas, Mum’s being able to work or study are all progress. We are lucky we have these things available some countries don’t have these things at all. Some have far better parental leave and support for families. At least we have made progress and I also try to be thankful for what we do have.

From my experience I do find it harder being home all the time, compared to working. I hear a lot of other Mum’s say the same thing, although it might not be the case for every one. They don’t say motherhood is hardest job in the world for no reason. Work for me is a financial necessity for our family but it is also my sanity. It’s quite easy to say ‘well women in the past didn’t complain, they just did it’. In reality, women in the past didn’t have the support available and couldn’t talk, it wasn’t the done thing. Mental health and domestic violence weren’t talked about. There’s a lot of things that weren’t talked about, acknowledged or even really understood. Now we know that perinatal depression and anxiety in Mums is common. It can also affect Dads. Now we know that suicide is the main reason for death in new Mum’s. We know that many of those Mum’s in the past that seemed so perfect (especially in their happy snap photos) were actually suffering from mental health issues and alcoholism behind the scenes. Hence the reason for the feminist revolution. I’m not saying that all women in the past suffered from mental health issues and alcoholism, I just meant it was common but no one talked about it.

So we have come a long way and still have a long to go. We’re always learning and moving forward.