Love in the time of blended families

A poem

We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour

Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer

I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw

I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids

Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity

You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far

I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live

I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection

Shakespeare described step parenting best:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom


2018 aspirations

Suddenly all my annoying habits from 2017 have vanished. In 2018 I will:
Keep tolerating fools (they are my colleagues after all)
Drink only the best water (in my gin)
Become motherhood Zen master & remain composed always (cue teen eye roll)
Run, jump, hop, skip
Be a good friend
Sing
Kiss more often
Swim like a dolphin in an ocean I’ve never swum in before
Help someone kick cancer’s arse
Travel places I’ve never been
Hug old friends and make new ones
Eat lots of green vegies

Behave like a macro neurotic nun
Roller skate

Smoosh my cat
Boogie like a lunatic
Write my heart out

Attend fabulous rainbow weddings, dance on tables

In 2018 we must:
Dump Trump, Turnbull and the other greedy narcissists for the future of our planet
Stop using plastic bags
Stop voting for rednecks who only care about their own wealth (see RWNJ’s above)
End negative gearing
Find a cure for brain cancer
Eat more hot chips
Smash the patriarchy

Laugh like a drain

Donate blood

Speak up

Admire more abs, delts and pecs
Pat more pooches

Follow our passions
Cuddle more babies

Rise up and resist
What’s on your resolution list?


Single mother fruit cake

Christmas Dessert Ingredients:

Packaged, dried, past it’s best fruit from cheapo supermarket

Icing sugar

Gin

Lemons to taste

Eggs close to use by date

Flour sifted for weevils

Valium (quantity as required)

AC/DC on loud

5 kilos of family arguments regarding timing of food serving

7 phone calls from mother with dementia about how she will be forgotten at Xmas

Orphans popping in with their relatives who you can’t stand

Mix all ingredients, leave to rot and go to the nearest pub on Christmas Eve


Inspo

As 2017 is ending it is compulsory to make a list of achievements, resolutions and groceries. As a word class highly qualified inspo fitspo marketing guru and on trend innovative disruptive full of it social media influencer professional product placement specialist, I also like to make predictions on what will be hip and cool next week.

The big trends of 2018 will be:
Teens discovering original songs which are better than cover versions recorded by No One With Original Talent contestants

All you can eat pickled onions with plastic cheese will feature on TV cooking shows

Footy socks with thongs will be huge in Paris and Engadine

Jail time for anyone using the hashtags disruptor, innovator or influencer

Fabulous LGBTQIA weddings

Smug coupled up parents will learn that single mothering helps kids learn to be independent

Women in power

Natural lips

Brady bunch families will thrive when property prices plummet

Wearing undies in summer will be abolished due to global warming

Footy teams taking performance-enhancing drugs may win a championship

It will be illegal for teenaged Katy Perry fans to wear 80s metal T-shirts

Americans will discover that guns kill a lot of people

Researchers will find a cure for politicians

(C) Lou Pollard 2017


Traditional values

Thia week Australia celebrated a victorious YES vote for marriage equality. After all the hate that was unleashed on the LGBTQIA community,  it was beautiful to see my queer friends celebrating with their allies.

The religious hypocrites in the Anglican church spent $1million on an advertising campaign for the NO vote. ONE MILLION DOLLARS as homeless elderly people live under bridges and in cars.

I’m happy that most Australians stood up and fought for our friends so that we are all equal under the law. My gay friends have been bashed, spat at, ridiculed and put down by family and so-called friends and strangers. I’m writing this for all the times they’ve heard, “I don’t mind gays, but,” for all the times they’ve heard someone use the statement, “That’s so gay,” in a derogatory way. It breaks my heart to think of the pain they’ve experienced during this hateful campaign that could have been avoided if PM Turnbull had any courage.

All the gay parents I know have had to choose their path carefully, to consider what parenting really meant. I know happy, healthy kids who have two mums and two dads, and they’re thriving. My kids have one parent available to them 24/7 and they’ve had trying times. Heterosexual parenting is more likely to expose kids to harm.

These are the politicians who didn’t have the courage to vote yes or no. Remember their names at the next Federal election:

As Ellen de Generes said, “Here are the values I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”


Cyclone warning

Cyclone Senza exploded into my life 13 years ago, after I’d been at the hospital in drug-free childbirth hell for 25 minutes. She couldn’t wait to get the party started.

Or trash our house. She has painted on the walls of every place we’ve ever rented. And they’re good paintings, so I can’t get mad. Senza leaves a creative mess in every room she enters. It would be easier to parent her if we lived in a castle with four maids, a butler and a housekeeper.

My girl, you are the funniest person I’ve ever met; entertaining, smart, animated and kooky, you have only two gears, full throttle or passed out on the floor  You struggle to use your inside voice but your astute observations about supposedly mature adults are always worth hearing.

Looking at a box of unpaid bills you said,

“Mum, that is a box full of nightmares.”

You are physically courageous; you surf, swim, climb trees, duck and dive. You’ve had breathtaking bodily self-confidence from the moment you were conceived. And you have a kind heart. This year you cared for babies in a Thai orphanage like they were your own family.

You are fast, furious, full of attitude and love for your friends, and easily bored. I hope your adventurous spirit takes you all over the world. You run head first at life, without fear. Your courage is everything I wish I could find in me (but with less back chat).

You kid, are everything. In your adolescent angst phase, don’t let teen bitches, dopey dudes and unenlightened teachers snuff out your fire.

Happy 13th Birthday to my beautiful hurricane #teenager


What in the name of God happened to you?

On Tuesday Australia celebrates the festival of the spray tan, also known as Melbourne Cup Day. The entire country will be on a high over-bronzed alert as women walk around looking like they have been spattered with wooden deck stain from Bunnings. Our foreign minister has travelled far to be there, but cannot intervene when it comes to refugees suffering on Manus Island.

I won’t be baring my pale body on Tuesday, I’m not up for the scrutiny. As I watch my face age every morning in the mirror, I’ve been thinking about how my fellow middle-aged women are coping with wrinkles. And how they are so distracted by their ‘beauty’ regime that they don’t have time to call out human rights abusers.

 

Recently, I stumbled upon the Instagram page of a mother I used to know. Her face was stuck in a wind tunnel and her lips resembled a boxer who had been punched in the mouth, but she still looked like a female in her late 40s. They weren’t Halloween pictures. She reminded me of Nicole Kidman, the selfies showed me a featureless face, every emotion and expression the same. And I thought about a generation of little girls growing up with mothers whose faces cannot express empathy nor frown, and who all have trout pouts. They are being taught that this is the acceptable female beauty standard. Like foot binding and removing ribs in generations past. Mothers who spend more time and money in salons than on teaching their daughters to change the world. What do these girls think of the disconnect between their mothers’ words and the emotion their faces can’t convey? Do they worry when they see kids locked up in refugee camps and their mothers are too busy inhaling nail polish in salons that employ uneducated women from poor countries to care? Why do females show their sons and daughters that a wrinkle free face that doesn’t move is how women must age? Why are our looks are more important than the plight of our fellow humans?

And more and more women in their 20s have immovable faces and puffer fish lips. On my vast single mother budget I have lots of money for day spas, so occasionally I get my nails done or a facial at a student beauty clinic. Last week a woman doing my nails must have been in her early 20s but I couldn’t really tell. She could have been shocked by my visible wrinkles, as her face only showed that she was startled.

Am I jealous because I can’t afford to do this?

When I told my 15 year old that I was writing this she said,

“Mum, don’t be mean about this woman, even if she does have a frozen fish face. She already feels bad about herself, that’s why she’s done that to her body.”

Why – Annie Lennox