Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Why breastfeeding doesn't matter.

During my little bloggy hiatus, something momentus happened and no one even knew about it.

After ten years and ten months, my last 'baby' weaned and my breastfeeding days came to an end.

Yes, my 'baby' is three. She was not the oldest of my children to wean by a long shot. If this bothers you, that's pretty much your problem.

When my eldest was my only baby, I was very passionate about breastfeeding. When my second child was born I tandem fed, and became quite militant in my rightness and superiority as an uber-breastfeeder.

Then I had a third babe, and a fourth. Each time I continued feeding the child before, so if you laid it all out end to end I've managed to squeeze nearly 16 years of breastfeeding into those 10+ years.

It mattered to me.

It still matters to me, because I do believe that in general women are misled and unsupported when it comes to breastfeeding. And given the way our culture is becoming more and more extremely sexualised, and breasts as a source of nourishment is so much a secondary idea to the one that they are there to entertain men, I wonder how our daughters will get their heads around the duality that already so many of us find challenging.

It mattered to me because I grew those babies and I was doing the best thing for them that I was able, based on my own beliefs. Farewelling more than a decade of feeding was oddly anti-climactic. My daughter spent a couple of nights with my parents and when I got back, she asked for her bedtime feed and I suggested maybe we don't do that any more. That was it.

I had a few weeks of feeling very off. Unbalanced and touchy and sad. Then I remembered that hormones are a thing, and that cuddles are great.

But this thing that mattered so much to me, that's the extent of how much it matters.

My babies weaned and nothing happened. There will be no more babies. I will never breastfeed again. And that is so okay with me.

And the reason it doesn't matter is this: my biggest baby turns 11 next week. He plays footy and is very athletic and rides dirt bikes. His feet are bigger than mine and he'll outgrow me within a couple of years.

He doesn't have those skills or attributes because I breastfed him until he wanted to stop, he has them because they are part of who he is. He's pretty awesome, truth be told.

He has loads of mates, and they are muddy and full of energy and a bit stinky. I have no idea which of them were breastfed. I'm not going to ask, because it doesn't matter. My militancy of his babyhood makes no difference to anyone, except maybe the women who I am sure I offended along the way.

I'll always support a woman's right to breastfeed where and when she wants to. I will always treasure those days with my babies and toddlers. But it doesn't really matter to anyone else, and it shouldn't.

Friday, July 18, 2014

This is why you shouldn't have big public hissy fits and storm off in a huff.

Oh hi there. Fancy meeting you here.

It's been a while huh? I spent a few weeks thinking about setting this blog to private and just walking away from it.

But then there kept being words in my head, and not all of them were about running (shockingly) and I didn't really have anywhere to put them.

And then I had this big internal conversation about who would even care about those words. And at the end of that I realised that it doesn't even matter if no one else cares about them, if I want to write them then I should write them.

So I'm glad I didn't do that thing that bloggers do where they make a big public fuss about closing down and never blogging again and look-at-me look-at-me and then they don't even acknowledge that they did that when they come back a few weeks or months later. That's always kind of funny to see, but I'm really glad I didn't do that.

All these things have happened, but the reason I stopped writing here really was to do with the obscene amount of pitches I was getting in my email, and how they were making me feel. Up to 30 a day, mostly media releases, often with follow up emails, and on a good day maybe one or two might be relevant to me and my family.

I felt like I was drowning in it. And the last few sponsored campaigns I did, I just wasn't happy with the relationship or expectations of the people running them. It was SO numbers focussed, and then I felt like I had to be so numbers focussed, and sell sell sell sell all the time. And I HATED it. I've never before felt like I was selling out by writing sponsored content, but those campaigns were just awful and stressful and took all the joy out of everything for me.

Anyway life kept happening. Who knew that supporting women through a course that teaches them to run and love their bodies,  running a business, managing a growing community over multiple platforms, raising four children, keeping a household ticking over and training for a marathon could be so time consuming?

There are lots of things I could tell you.

How I LOVE what I am doing with my life right now, and the joy it gives me to be doing something that is so heart centred and uplifts women so much. How I hope so much that it continues to grow, and becomes the thing that I believe it can be in the world.

How after all the stress and anxiety, my Little Mate is currently the poster child for autistic children in mainstream schools. How he LOVES school and has made friends and how I nearly cry every day when he tells me what he has done with such pride and so many words!

How I found my running mojo again and am just LOVING every moment of my training right now, and how I have the best coach in the world.

And you know, I think I will tell you things. I think I will just pop in when I have words that want to be written, and I will write them. I've missed you. I really have.

I don't know if that means I'll post once a week, or once a month, or anything like that.

I do know that I have deleted Google Analytics and Stat Counter because I don't care. And that if you are a PR person and ask me for those numbers, I won't be able to give them to you because they do not matter to me.

And unless you are a PR person who is pitching me coffee or coffee related products (because COFFEE), or fitness gear, or maybe food because apparently marathon training means you think about food ALL THE TIME, then we won't have much in common anyway. My baby is nearly four, my care factor for cleaning products is low and I really feel like I want to be impressed if I'm going to share this space with you. If that doesn't scare you away, please impress me.

So. I'm back. How've you been?

Monday, May 5, 2014

What would you do?

If you had no memory of yesterday, and no understanding that tomorrow might exist, 
what would you do today?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Everyone has a story.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

I'm a bit of a walking motivational e-card at the moment, and it is driving some people insane. I'm full of sound bites and inspiring quotes, and the thing is that I absolutely believe them. That can be hard for others to deal with if they aren't in a similar headspace. And SO MANY people are not in a similar headspace.

I get it. I've been there too. I lived there for a really long time, and the happiness of other people was grating and irritating because what did they know about me and my life anyway, right?

Everyone has a story.

A lot of my story is here on this blog. An awful lot more of it is not.

But that story has brought me to this place where I am that person waxing lyrical about changing your life and living your dream, and I like it.

The thing I like best about it is that I truly believe anyone can do it. 

You already know that I am doing it by creating courses and working with people to help them make changes in their lives. On the surface our OpMove Project courses are about exercising more, but the reality goes a lot deeper because when you start to use your body as it is meant to be used, it shifts something deep within your psyche as well. Our courses are about taking responsibility for yourself, caring for and supporting other people who are just like you, and in the process learning to care for yourself a little more as well.

Our June courses go on sale today, and I am insanely proud of what we have created. 

The best thing about it all is seeing people realise what they can do. The moment that they comprehend their own power; that it isn't us telling them what to do that is creating the change in their lives. It is all their own doing.

Someone said to me last week that I had given her a great gift.

I told her that I have given her nothing. She already had the gift, I am just showing her where the sticky tape is so she can unwrap it.

I love my story right now. 

Do you love yours?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


My son is different to other children.

That is just stating the obvious.

But sometimes his version of different is, well, different. Every now and again I wonder if this thing he does is autism related or just part of his personality.., whether that other thing he does is common to other autistic kids his age, or unique to him. I'll never know, and it really doesn't matter at all. But I wonder.

Like most parents (I assume) I ask my kids how their days have been at school of an afternoon. Again like most parents (I assume) I'm generally fighting a losing battle to find out anything much. It was good. It was bad. I didn't like my lunch. I lost my hat again.

I expected much the same from my Little Mate when he started school this year, especially given that last year at kinder had set that pattern of no information already.

Instead, I hear the most fascinating snippets of his day. Maybe a very specific sentence a teacher has said. Maybe the exact dynamics of how he played at recess. It is pretty wonderful, not least that he has the words to tell me at all, something I will never take for granted.

The thing that blows me away every day is how engaged he is with learning. He will ask me one hundred times a day what letter various words start with. He tells me over and over the letter combinations that make particular sounds. He looks at words and sounds them out when we read together and often gets it right, something else we'd not ever have anticipated being possible a few years ago.

He has learnt so much this first term of school. It had not been all hearts and roses, but having a beautiful teacher has, I think, been key in his transition.

More than that, he has taught me so much all over again. Mostly that I can never ever underestimate him, because he will surprise me every single time.

He is a marvelous boy, my son. I am so very blessed.