Worry wart

It must be a mother thing. I don’t remember lying in bed worrying half the night when I was childless. That is probably because until I had kids I did not have a sober night to ponder or reflect. I spent my twenties drunk as a back packer, talking shit like a complete tosser until 5am. Now I spend my nights wide awake fretting about important issues:

Are tomato farmers pissed off with Charlie and Lola?
Will my 10 year old drown at her school swimming lessons and no one notices?
Is my face always going to look this tired, cranky and old?
Are we ever going to have political leaders with bravery and vision?
Is a Paddlepop a well-rounded meal on a Friday night when I’m exhausted?

“Any idiot can face a crisis – its day to day living that wears you out”
– Anton Chekov


Narcissistic Parenting Disorder

Another day, another break up of a ‘star’ marriage, be it Johnny Whatsit or a ‘celebrity’ personal trainer; these are the ‘men’ who walk away from their children and run to someone else who may be younger, or prettier and aren’t burdened with looking after his children. Meanwhile who takes the kids to school, helps with their homework, washes their sports uniforms? While the little boys are taking selfies with their girlfriends on red carpets and jetting off on fun holidays, the women who are left behind are the ones dedicating themselves to child rearing. What does it do to a teenage girl to see Daddy running off with someone young enough to be her elder sister? Yawn.

Are these the role models we want for our boys? Males who’ve been in relationships that lasted less time than a bottle of Morning Fresh detergent (that stuff lasts ages). Guys who can’t hang around when the going gets tough in a marriage? Ask anyone who has been married for a long time and they’ll tell you that the going gets tough at some point in a long term relationship. Good blokes can you have a word with your mates? Please tell them that kids need their dads. I don’t want to male bash, I know some fabulous fathers, but I’m not meeting a lot of deadbeat mummies. 32% of babies in the United States are born to single mothers, and in 2006 mothers headed 87% of one-parent families with children under 15 years in Australia.

Parenting isn’t glamorous, it isn’t fun a lot of the time, it’s about making tough decisions and showing kids there are boundaries to their behaviour. To do that you have to be in the same space as children. Being there for a kid means physically showing up, cleaning up their vomit in the middle of the night, sitting through school concerts even when you’re bored, showing kids that as a parent you want to be in their lives for all the important moments. Any monkey can take their children to a cafe. Fathers who think that going to a trendy hairdresser is more important than being with their kids are not attractive. Yes, the rules of the game are being redefined but parenting isn’t something you can opt in and out of and decide to sit out on the bench for a few years, you’re either there or you’re not. Kids are tough bosses, they notice when you don’t show up for parenting duty. I meet many teenagers with mental health issues, and troubled adolescents are being admitted to hospitals in greater numbers than ever before; I truly believe that family breakdown plays a part. A lot of these kids crave time with absent parents. As a survivor of domestic violence I’m not advocating staying in an abusive relationship forever, but I really don’t think modern men are trying hard enough to keep it together for the kids or themselves.

Divorce is painful for kids. So if your relationship is faltering from the burdens of modern life, not enough time or money or extended family to give you a break from the relentless pressure of work, child rearing, nursing ageing parents and paying the bills, get thee to a good counsellor.

All the research apparently says that kids from broken families do fine eventually. But there are a lot of tears, heartache and wasted energy between now and the mysterious destination called eventually.


You want me to buy what?

Dear Facebook I may not be old, single and wrinkly.

As a single mother busting my butt to promote my gigs I’ve recently become a social media whore bag. And Facebook has responded by stalking me with two kinds of ads. Ignite the flame of love again and lose some weight ye old fatty boom bah. Is Facebook trying to give me a hint? Facebook keeps filling my news feed with lots of ads that read something like this:

Try the trick that worked for this 470-year-old wrinkle free woman. Chopping off her head. Want more tips for wrinkle free skin?

Mums aged 90+ are losing all their flabby bits with this simple trick:
Amputation

Melt unwanted belly fat, extra bosoms and your large arse with a fat melting tool called an iron. Ladies you can get rid of 67% of wrinkles by ironing your face. And shave off 10 years of wrinkles by shaving off your craggy old facial skin because wrinkle free is all you want as a woman.

Mums who are 75 but look 7 are losing weight and losing their brain cells and muscle tone by the minute. Maybe I can add to my single mother’s pension by selling these attractive supplements?

Can you drop six dress sizes in a week? I can drop four dresses of different sizes at Vinnie’s in about five minutes.

Maybe I’ve already lost 47kg in six weeks. Maybe I’m really toned, tanned and terrific. Did you even think about that Facebook robot people? Maybe I’ve already found the secrets to a hot bod.

When I’m not being told I’m old and ugly Facebook are helping me to find my soul mate or trying to help me keep my one true love.

How to make your guy really love you, you can become hopeless and irresistible around Alpha males reads their latest ad.

I’m so excited. I will find a Facebook consultant (yes they exist) to help me and very soon I’ll be pretty and skinny and wrinkle free with the love of my life.

All this at the same time as emails proclaiming FREE ACCESS TO LOCAL SLUTS arrive in my inbox every day. I read one of these emails and as a very single mother I was disappointed to see that my name was not on their list of local slappers.

Hopefully my next social media highlight will be some nasty Twitter trolls calling me a filthy old tart.