Dear corona peppers, welcome to the world of living on a very tight budget AKA single motherhood.
Even though I’m busy preparing burnt offerings and microwave friendly salads, I’m offering you my FREE tips on feeding your family on a VERY limited budget.
1. Take it or leave it
2. ‘Imaginative’ recipes from ‘ cook book
3. Repetition is king; 16 year olds love the same boring dishes; I’m a monster of the mash, a shaman of the sauce bottle, a magician with mince.
4. Tell your kids your family has been invited onto a reality TV cooking show, then vote yourself out of the kitchen. Hide.
5. Now is a good time for your kids to learn to cook
7. Like it or lump it
9. Remember the child standing in front of the microwave gets the most.
10. It is not a crime to send your 16 year old to the local RSL with a fake ID to win the meat tray because the slab of dead animal will feed your family for a week. Do it tonight before the government closes all clubs.
Vive le revolution
I can’t believe women’s magazines are struggling to find readers when they insist on writing stories about women who aren’t particularly inspiring. In this week’s issue we talk to Goopy Gwyny, who tells us how she ‘does it all.’ Gwyn can pay for an army of nannies, personal fluffers and acolytes but apparently, she is amazing. Be stunned at how Sheryl Sandberg juggles career and raising children. Sheryl has a net worth of $US1billion, poor Shezza, the school run must be exhausting for her au pairs. These women aren’t inspirational, they’re filthy rich.
I want to know how Wiradjuri woman Linda Burney survived domestic violence, raised kids and went on to be a successful MP. This is the woman who said,
“Teach little girls that it’s not normal to be hit, do work in schools with the young women and young men about respectful relationships,” Ms Burney said.
Lady magazine editors and bloggers, please tell me about women who crawled out of the swamp of their lives and became successful despite their lack of money, self-esteem or contacts. Botoxed #fitspo #inspo women with enough money to pay assistants and massage therapists aren’t groundbreaking, they’re lucky. These women may work hard, but when you can regularly take luxury holidays with your kids without worrying if you’ll be evicted from your small rented flat while you’re away, you’re not someone who lifts my spirits.
Day after day on Linkedin and Facebook, I’m bombarded with ads from ‘success coaches’ about how to be a winner, reinvent myself as an inspirational role model and write ten best selling novels before breakfast. Spare me. I don’t want quotes about wisdom, I want Rosie Batty as our next PM. Ladies, it is time we turned the world around.
As someone who tries to spread happiness and joy to people in distress, I’ve been invited to hear a few modern gurus speak at conferences. They are usually happy high achievers with eager followers and best-selling self-help books. They often make me feel inadequate. I read their books and end up feeling like I have to add another set of chores to my already chock full to do list. This week I’d like to pay my bills and have a holiday, so please come over and take my kids to school while I loll about in a spa. Cook my dinner, help with homework and soothe my neurotic insomniac brain but spare me the details of your journey of discovery. I’m sure it’s been incredibly peaceful spending the last two years meditating in a cave in the Himalayas but I don’t want to know. If you’ve done nothing but sit in silence for hours, I’m jealous. Write a book. I might fall asleep reading it.
It started with an enticing email message (complete with capital letters for emphasis) from Clairvoyant Kevin:
A time of WONDERFUL change is coming your way, we need to talk IMMEDIATELY.
To be SUCCESSFUL you must channel the POWER of the stars.
As a struggling single mother I need all the self-help I can get, so gullible me clicked on the link provided by Clairvoyant Kevin in his ‘exclusive’ email.
Kevin told me that Today is the first day of the rest of your life.
Uncanny. How does this astrologer know me so well already?
Let your intuition tell you all you need to know. Harness the ENERGY of the stars.
The Sextile of your ruling planet is SPECTACULAR.
So I paid for Kevin’s prediction, and the only thing that held any promise was my astrology forecast. According to Guru Kevin, the happiest period of my life had just begun. Two friends died, my car was sold to a wrecker and the bloke stopped calling me. Thanks Kev, I can’t wait to see what my bad stars bring.
My eldest child has been ‘dating’, and it scares me. I’ve met some of these guys, some of them are players, some of them are nice. She is testing the waters and learning that love can hurt. This worries me because it makes me question what I could have done differently as a parent. How do I keep her from harm? How do I narcissist-proof her and my other daughters? How do I warn them away from the creeps that I fell for? How do I teach them all that falling in love is magical but they must mind the gap? The gap between the face people show you and their real self. How do I tell them that the words people say are largely a mask and that their actions speak volumes? I’m trying to teach my gals about the ‘red flags’. I saw the red flags and I chose to ignore them. I will say to my gals, if your beau has no money and you are constantly paying for everything then perhaps he can’t get his act together (I’ve read that book, I also have the T-shirt, the ruler and the DVD). That bailing your boyfriend out of every financial disaster is no way to run a partnership. And watch out for boys who are tangled in a scary Oedipal relationship with their mummies. Some mothers aren’t able to say to their sons ‘grow up and be a man Peter Pan.’ But what would I know? I’m only their mother. The lyrics to this song are the kind of rubbish I listened to (and believed) when I was a teenager. I love the Rolling Stones’ music but I tell my gals if a man ever says these words to you, run fast and do not look back. That way co dependency lies….
In my 20s I was a sucker for every ology being spruiked on a street corner by a charlatan. It was the 90s after all. I veered between the ‘I don’t give a rats’ slacker culture and the personal growth ‘I want to find myself, that’s enough about me, what do you think of me?’ ethos. There’s a sucker born every minute and at 4am on the 19th of September that sucker was me.
I tried rebirthing, chakra realignment, reading tea leaves, chanting, and I even looked into the bollocks that is numerology. I took a personality course at the ‘church’ of Scientology. I discovered I only had a personality when I drank like an Australian cricketer on tour. I spent thousands on courses and tapes and CD’s and behavioural analysis bullshit instead of investing in cheap Sydney property. Then when I was 29 I embarked on a breeding program. I had big whopper babies, all overdue, so I read lots of intellectual tomes in my fourth trimester, like Get A Life, No Idea and Women’s Monthly magazines. One day I read an article about birthdays and their meaning so I decided to harness the power of celebrity to give my life some direction (five pregnancies will do that to your brain).
I discovered I share a birthday with Twiggy and Mama Cass (I’m somewhere in between them size wise), but my spiritual guru also shares my birthday. George Cadbury. He was a chocolate maker and philanthropist. The charity I work for is sponsored by you guessed it…Cadbury. It’s a sign. So as Oprah would say I’ve found my destiny. I was put on this earth to consume chocolate, preferably the expensive stuff.
Who do you share your birthday with? Maybe they can give your life the direction it needs. Which personality traits do you share with a celebrity?