Authentic

A Note To My Teenage Self

Don’t hurry. Life is longer than your young 14 years – if you’re lucky. And you are lucky because the time travelling ‘you’ knows this to be true.

Don’t worry. You are beautiful just as you are. There is only one you. Be proud of that and make the most of her.

Don’t regret. Choices are made and mistakes happen. Put the perfection bat away you are not a failure – you’re still standing right? Well then, walk on.

Don’t hurt. The self inflicted pain must stop. You would never hurt someone else the way you hurt yourself, would you? Be your own best friend and stop the physical pain.

Don’t give so much. You give yourself away so easily. Trust me if they love you they will wait. And while they wait love yourself it’s the most rewarding love you will ever find.

Find peace. Peace in your moments. Peace in your days. Peace will always bring you back to yourself. Stay centred. Stay grounded. Find peace.

Find faith. Not in a godly sense but in your own capabilities. Believe in your goodness. Believe in your future. Believe in who you are, right her right now, no matter what the situation.

Find joy. Breath it in. Swim in its innocence. Dance with it. There is a lot more joy than you can ever possibly imagine and once you find it treasure every second with it.

Find love. Not from a man, not from anybody else but from within. Nobody will ever truly love you until you fall in love with yourself first.

Be authentic. You are the one and only you. This is the most fucking magical thing ever! When you are authentic you never need validation. You never need someone else to make you feel like you are a good person. When you’re authentic you are 100% the most beautiful version you can be and that type of beauty cannot be measured, compared or captured! It just is.

One love

The Older Version of You xxx

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Change

Sometimes to move forward you need to change. Change things about yourself. To change the situation you are in or to make major life choices that are guaranteed to change your future.

Change is fucking scary. Yep, it really is. Change ignites fear from deep down within especially when change comes at the cost to your security blanket. Your comfort zone. Change makes your stomach churn, turns your fight or flight response on high and can give you some serious loose bowel movements … No? That’s just me? Oh, ok then.

Change makes you emotional. Angry. Impatient. Because with change comes new learning. A whole new way of having to think. Change puts you on a different level. Sometimes change makes you start again – at the beginning as a beginner.

Change makes you feel like you are standing out, centre stage and you are surrounded by people. People who are all on the outside facing you, watching you. It makes you feel vulnerable. Exposed. Weak even. But sometimes vulnerability is good. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that it is a sign of weakness. You are not defenceless. Vulnerability during changes means you are just asking to be seen and are open to making real connections. Vulnerability shows your authenticity – who you really are.

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Change is sometimes, most times, if you let it, out of your control. This is a good thing because with change comes growth and with growth comes more life experience. And isn’t that what we are here for – life and experiences?!

Change can sometimes make or break you. But most of us make it. Change will quickly put things into perspective and you get a choice with change – you can let it make you a better person, parent, employee, boss OR you can let it turn you into a sour motherfucker. I’m digging the first choice, how about you?

Sometimes change wasn’t your choice and some prick has backed you into a corner and the only way out is through a secret door behind you that has a flashing sign saying “CHANGE”…. Ok, so if it’s flashing neon it’s probably not that secret. This door gives no clue as to where it is going to take you but you either suffocate in the corner or you take the risk. Here’s a hint: OPEN. THE. FUCKING. DOOR! Change is always risky and risks don’t always pay off but that’s the gamble in life. But life is a gamble anyway – every day.

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When going through the process of change it is so important to remember the positives. You are still moving – forward, backward, sideways – it doesn’t fucken matter which – if you are still moving you are still alive and that’s good, right?!

Accepting change is accepting your responsibility in the change. To some degree, even with a cactus involved, we all have a part to play. Accept it. Own it. Hug it and move the fuck on because holding on to resentment and anger keeps you stuffed in that little corner even if you exited through the not-so-secret door.

Change is something that brings you out. If teaches you more about yourself then you knew a few years earlier. It can feel like a tunnel and make every stress receptor activate on high alert. Change will make you anxious – whether you recognise it or not. The fear and the excitement go hand in hand because change is both fearful and exciting. We fear the unknown and we are excited about the possibilities.

Sometimes change will make you feel like you have fallen to your knees. BUT you have got to stand up. You have got this. You. Have. Got. This.

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Change doesn’t define you. They way you deal with change does. Embrace it. Accept it. Grow from it. Don’t look at what you are giving up look instead at what you can gain from change. Oh and let the cactus go – they aren’t the kind of pricks we are into anyway!

One love,

DRK xxx

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Knight In Shining Armour AKA Superwoman Cape & Trackies

I haven’t had the best week of my life.

I have been an absolute mess actually. Not because of one major life changing ‘thing’. Not because of something big enough that changes a life in an instant. No cancer diagnosis. No major car accident. No loss of life.

Just lots and lots of small things all stacked up. All precariously sitting on top of each other swaying. Threatening to tumble. Competing with gravity.

And gravity won.

Gravity always wins. I should know that by now.

And so, predictably, with gravity they all came crashing down. And by ‘they’ I mean me.

I haven’t cried like that in a long time. I haven’t prayed so hard to whoever it is out there since I was a young confused teen. I haven’t felt so desperate for a reprieve since … well since I can ever remember.

It was a deep, sobbing crying. Not a self pity cry.

A cry of really truly having had enough. A cry that was possibly a pivotal moment in my life … But I’m not sure on that one – it’s too early to tell.

On Sunday my Mum found me hiding out in the laundry deeply sobbing to myself. Hiding in the laundry to keep my sobbing from my two little boys a secret.

“What’s wrong?” She asked before all the words started tumbling out of my mouth. Short, sharp statements that weren’t really the reason for the intensity I was exhibiting.

She took me and wrapped me in a cuddle. Like my knight in shining armour. Except she was in trackies – which she totally pulls off by the way.

We talked. I cried. She advised. I cried some more. Then she took control. She put her foot down and gave me firm directions for how the rest of my day was about to play out. I was to 1) Call a friend. 2) Make a dinner date. 3) Let her take the kids. 4) Go out, drink some wine and feel like an adult.

And so I did. I took my swollen leaky nose, puffy red rimmed eyes out on a Sunday night with my friend.

My friend, who also jumped at the chance to get out on a Sunday night for some adulting, is someone who makes me laugh. She’s relaxed and calm and she’s pretty bloody good at being genuine too. I chose her because I knew she’d accept me in my state and be happy to be seen with my puffy eyes in public too.

I don’t know how to explain how lucky I am to have lost it like that and had someone there for me. I know how lucky I am and that alone should bring me out of my state. I am surrounded by these supportive people on a daily basis and if they are not beside me they are only ever a phone call away.

I have the kind of mother so many people would dream about. I have the kind of mother I hope to be one day. But for now she has her shit sorted while I’m still trying to put all my shit together.  And for this I am so thankful.

I love you Mum xx

One love

DRK xxx

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The ‘Sometimes’ Thoughts of a Parent

Sometimes I feel like I am missing out. I’m sorry to say it but I do. It’s so normal to feel this way yet we aren’t allowed to say it out loud as we are deemed ungrateful, spoilt, jealous. I had kids young and then I continued having kids until I felt old. And one day, before I know it and probably before my youngest has left home I will be a grandparent which is wonderful and all but then I’ll still be here. Doing what it feels like I have always done.

Not much.

A stay at home mum.

A taxi driver.

A cleaner.

A cook.

None of which I excel at. Or so it feels. It’s fucking ruthless though.

And I sound ungrateful. Yet it’s real. I’ve just watched my newsfeed tell me how wonderful other peoples lives are. They’re living the dream. Living abroad. Travelling the world and only now settling down to have babies. People I went to school with who were smarter and more committed to their future than I ever was. I wanted things now. Like a baby. Like a marriage. The first one didn’t work so why not do it again. The furtherest I have travelled is Bali when I was 11, hardly self-sufficient. Then Melbourne a couple of times. I am not worldly. I’m not even sure if this is what bothers me. I’m not convinced that I want ‘worldly’ in my nature.

I haven’t set myself up financially. My husband did that. Don’t get me wrong I worked. I worked my butt off in many jobs while being a single mother. And when I finally got myself secure in a permanent job selling real estate, and doing quite well, my hubby came along, swept me off my feet and asked me for two more kids. Which I gave him for love. But I also gave up what I’d hoped to be a forging career. But maybe I am not cut out for that. Maybe a career is not my thing. Parenting is. And of course I am going to tell you that I would never take it back. And I mean it. My kids drive me bonkers and make me question everything there is in this life but they also give meaning to my life … But somedays I have to first peel back a few layers. And somedays I worry – do they even like me? Do they wish they had a better/funner/more organised Mum? The stress of raising little humans into big humans is fucking scary. What if I fuck up? What if I have already fucked up and there is nothing I can do to change it?

When I go to my school reunion late this year – who am I? Who have I become? Where are all my great stories? There is only so much kid-talking you can do before yawning begins and they find someone far more interesting … And less drunk. Is this an achievement? The fact I have had five kids? Is this the biggest achievement I have made in my life? Again, I know this sounds ungrateful. I know to people without children this sounds like fingernails down a very ugly and very selfish chalkboard. But I am asking it anyway.

My responsibilities lie at home. My house. My husband. My kids. That is my job. My career. Somehow this doesn’t satisfy the burning for something more. The desire to be doing something else. But then I remember that even if I do something else this will always be here – but harder. There will be just as much to do except with less time to do it if I devote my time elsewhere, to me. To something I want to do.

I am a Mum forever. I know how lucky I am to say that. But what else am I? It’s a rhetorical question. Just a thought after a relentless day.

One love

DRK xxx

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Menstrual Cups *Women Only*

It was recently my birthday …

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I know. I know. Thank you. Thank you. And thank you Brad.

For the evening of my birthday I celebrated with the women I am closest to in life and true to our sisterhood we were free to discuss everything openly.

We are lucky like that.

It wasn’t long, probably around a bottle of champagne, until menstrual cups came up in conversation. Yes, menstrual cups.

A few sisters knew what a menstrual cup was but hadn’t tried them, a couple were like, “What the fuck is a mentrual cup?!” and then there was me … on day 5 of menstrual cupping for the first time ever.

So with this topic as various stages of understanding the discussion opened up and flowed (yes *shudder* pun intended) into deeper more specific levels of talk.

What does it look like? How do you put it in? How do you take it out? Is it safe? How gross is it? What is it’s usage life? What do you mean you can wear it overnight and not flood? Can my daughter wear one? Do they come in different sizes? Is it comfortable? This question always comes after seeing the picture of a menstrual cup.

Well for those of you who also want to know these answers in a very simple unbiased way then read on. I will do my best to answer it as a beginner user and nowhere near being a pro… I also want to let you know that I have not been asked to review this and I am no way affiliated with the company of my menstrual cup BUT I realised at my birthday dinner that there are women who are unable to discuss these types of things with the other women in their life. Which is fine, I’m not judging, but if you wanted to know from a real person using them then here are the answers….

What does it look like? Well it looks as it sounds… Just like a cup, except it has no base to stand up and instead a tab. Like a champagne glass without its base which would normally be messy but not in this case.

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How do you put it in? It’s made of a silicone material so it is bendable so don’t freak out about the above picture. The particular brand and model (Model 2) that I bought is sturdier than the other option called, originally, Model 1, which is for virgins which I am definitely not. To place it inside you just need to fold it twice and insert. It really is that simple. You might need to find the most comfortable way to do this but it won’t take you long. Promise.

How do you take it out? At the bottom of the cup is a tab that acts like the string except it doesn’t hang out. You bear down like you would in childbirth or just doing a big poo and you gently pull on the tab. I found if you move it side to side and pinch the bottom of the cup once you reach it then it unsuctions itself and voila – Bobs not your Uncle but Flo is your Aunt.

Is it safe? Yes they say. I left mine overnight and no TSS not that I’ve ever had it with tampons. So far I haven’t lost it ‘up there’ in neverland and I have always found it easy enough to remove – don’t google horror stories before you’ve given it a crack.

How gross is it? It is a little bit gross and you do have to be prepared as to when and where you are removing it – purely for hygienic reasons. It’s not like you can be in a public toilet cubicle pull it out and go rinse it in the sink and then go back to the cubicle and refit it. BUT you can buy disinfectant wipes to do it while on the go and out and about but I would avoid it initially til you are pro. My advice is to always be prepared before you remove – especially for us heavy flow-ers. Toilet paper, flushable wipes, positioning. You’ll get what I mean when you do it.

What’s the usage life? Well that depends who you ask and how you care for it but considering that thing is wedged up your private bits for some time every month I would expect you would care for it pretty proper! Some websites say they should be replaced every year while others say up to 10 years. I can’t say based on my own knowledge but I will just see how it’s fairing on my 38th birthday.

What do you mean you can wear it overnight and not flood? Seriously! I am pretty heavy but the beauty of it is that if inserted properly it creates a seal and allows you to flow naturally with a catcher rather than an absorber that once is fully absorbed starts leaking. I haven’t had an overflow on my first week but I’ve been pretty vigil about checking and emptying. I have, however, been able to leave it in overnight without a flood in the morning. Great news.

Can my teenage daughter wear one? Yes. There is a Model 1 for our newbies and one would assume virgins – they’re not married right?! Just like learning how to insert tampons the menstrual cup is a learning curve but with extra considerations like cleanliness. In saying that my teen went out and bought herself one as soon as she heard I was trialling one. I’ll get her feedback.

Do they come in different sizes? Yes as mentioned the particular brand I bought came in two sizes. Model 1 and Model 2. Model 1 is a softer silicone and is smaller. Perfect for those who haven’t had sexual intercourse or have light flows and Model 2 is better suited to heavier flows, those sexually active or that have had children – nicer way of saying you have a bigger twat, you know.

Is it comfortable? Yes. By Day 5 of my cycle I had it totally sussed and then on Day 7 (yes I bled for 7-8 days every 28 days) I didn’t even know it was there – actually someone might need to remind me each month… The first few days I wasn’t sure about it being 100% comfort factor down there but when I mastered it it definitely was.

So there you have it.

Would I recommend it? Yes absolutely!

Will I go back to tampons? No way!

I paid $59.95 for my MC which sounds expensive but I spend about $240 on pads and tampons over a year so if this thing works for a year I am already winning.

One love

DRK xxx

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Heart to Heart

Words are powerful especially those heartfelt ones that you come across usually when you least expect it but need to hear it most.

Today while being a soccer mum I received some words via a phone call from a client and luckily enough a friend. Not a lifelong friend or someone I have deep and meaningful’s with but a friend all the same and for this reason it makes her words even more potent. She rang to tell me on this beautiful Sunday morning how awesome she thinks I am at my job. She said, ‘sometimes as mothers we forget that we have talents’ and she hoped I knew how clever I was and how much she loved what I have done for them and their castle.

It’s crazy because I’ve been in my industry for 11 years and I should know this right? But I’ve always kept this part of me a “hobby”. I’ve kept it safe and comfortable never thinking I was good enough/clever enough/talented enough to get anywhere with it. I put my heart and my passion into every job that I do because it’s not work to me. It’s this piece that makes me whole and fulfills me as a human being. It is fear that holds me back from doing even more. It is fear that keeps me small.

I knew this queen was being real and speaking from her heart because she was choked up. I knew I was feeling it right in my happy place because I was in tears. As she spoke her last words of thanks our soccer team scored a goal and the crowd roared with applause. It felt like they were applauding us. Our conversation. Our sharing of words that mean something real from the delivery right to the receiving end. Two Superwomen, two Queens talking from the heart, receiving from the heart and warming both of our souls on a beautiful Sunday morning. How lucky I feel today to have had this moment.

So thank you Queen April. You absolutely, 100% made my day, my week, in fact quite possibly my year.

One love

DRK xxx
Original image from weheartit. Image recreated using Phoster.

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The Fat, Mean Mum

I woke up this morning and consciously decided to speak nicely to myself. You know, manifesting good things by thinking good things. Tapping into that kind and forgiving inner voice that I know is in there somewhere. Turning the volume of my Devil down and telling my Angel to speak up. Flipping the negative talk into positive language. Slapping the bitch in me to give the belle of the ball a second to stand up and curtsy… You get what I mean.

So I showered and let positivity rain down on me. Cleansing the negative thoughts away as well as showering to be all hygiene and shit – seems as though some people skipped that memo from The Universe. I let the water warm my body and my soul on the cold autumn morning but of course, I’m a mother so I’m doing the whole showering thing while parenting at the same time. I call it Shower-Parenting.

Shower-Parentingbetter known as yelling from the shower to a bunch of minors who know you’re not really going to get out of your nice warm shower to follow through with any of your threats so they continue to completely ignore you. Arseholes! Just wait til I’m outta here!

So I’m yelling and I’m showering and I’m washing negativity away. I know, I know I’ve totally got this shit sorted, huh? I’m just about done when my six-year-old son wanders into the bathroom because mothers, as we all know, never shower or shit in peace. He plonks himself on the toilet and begins his morning cleansing process. First, the passing of gas, then the smile and then me screeching “Are you doing a poo?!” To which he sleepily replies “Mm-hmm.” Affirmative confirmation. I try to stay in my positive state while the hot air and gases combine.

Eventually, I admit defeat with the hot stench being too much to bear. I drag myself out of the shower and begin the drying process. Continuing with the positivity I thank each body part as I go. I dry my legs and thank them for doing their job. Thank them for functioning properly. How lucky am I to have legs that work, I say to myself. I wipe my rounded tummy and my voluptuous hips and thank them for carrying five children into the world. I thank my gluteus maximus for all the jobs that it does which I don’t even know about. Then in between my positive self-talk and my six-year-olds stinking plops he sweetly says….

You’re fat Mum.”

It was matter of fact.

The truth.

A bomb.

Slightly harsh.

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Three words from a child who doesn’t have a filter but he doesn’t need one because he’s just calling a spade a spade.

I felt the need to clarify, or maybe for further punishment, his judgement so I asked, “What makes you say that?” While thinking, praying, it must have been the way I bent over? Maybe the angle I was standing at? It definitely wasn’t my outfit – well actually thinking about it now I guess it was because there’s nothing more honest than a birthday suit.

He looks me up and down confused by my confusion and reaffirms, “‘Cause you are. You’re just fat Mum.

Bam! Right next to my reflux pain I feel something … Oh, yep that would be my heart shattering into tiny pieces. 

I’m fat. 

My kid thinks I’m fat. 

He’s being honest not mean. He’s using a word I hate to hear as a description of how he sees my physical body. It’s a word he knows and understands that he can relate in describing me. Yes, I know I’ve put on weight and yes, I confidently tell everyone that I have while really hoping people don’t actually notice that it’s there and all the while praying to the Universe, God, the Weightloss Fairies that it will just disappear overnight. But it won’t because it’s not bloating or fluid retention or ‘just a good shit’ it is actual fat caused by over-eating.

Clever clothes may hide my rolls, I can paint my face pretty and I can do positive affirmations the fuck to death but underneath it all the Pope is still Catholic and I am still fat. It is what it is. I get to either be ok with it or do something about it. But first of all I’ll cry. That’ll help. Foetal position, on the floor and cry.

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Really?! Aww hell no! You ain’t gonna to let a little three letter word bring you to your knees?! Bitch really?!

While temporarily in the foetal position, memories from only a few days before of my teenager informing me that I’m known as the ‘mean mum’ to his mates came to mind. So with these flashbacks rolling and from the comfort of the floor I define myself as the fat, mean mum. Damn girl! You used to be the hot, fun mum. What the fuck happened to you?!

Seriously! What the fuck happened to me, my body, my care factor?! And more importantly, what am I going to do about it? I took myself off the rollercoaster – or so I’ve said. The cycle of diet-eat-starve-eat-diet-eat-starve-eat … Oh, fuck it you know what I mean. I’m out of that cycle, aren’t I? I’m happy with who I am? So why did those 3 little letters bring me to my knees?

In all honesty and with a little bit of dignity remaining I can say that I actually didn’t curl up in the foetal position. I just said that for the benefit of my internal breakdown. I didn’t even cry. Almost, but I didn’t. Why? Because of two things.

1) Fat doesn’t define me. I know that. I am not less of a person, mother, friend, stylist, lover, life-giver just because I carry 10kg more than I should and,

2) I do not want to teach my son that the word ‘fat’ is another f-word that he can’t say. You have fat and sometimes too much of it but you are not defined by fat and no this isn’t an excuse to be carrying extra fat either – maybe I will pull my finger out, maybe I won’t. It just doesn’t define the person I am – unless I let it.

b8e9d3875bd6239dafe0db0c08165db7I did give my six-year-old some life advice though about using that f -word because let’s be realistic, he is going to be somebody’s husband one day and I’d like my son to live beyond their first year of marriage. Honesty here can take a back seat. I really tried to make sure he didn’t feel bad about saying it but unfortunately either my face gave it away or he can read me well energetically because for the rest of the morning he was all like, “Hey Mum can you help me put the toothpaste on my brush because you’re so strong.” And “Can you help me put my shoes on because you’re so clever.” So he may see me as fat but he also sees me as strong and clever. I’m happy to take that on.

One love

DRK xxx