What I would say.

Dear teenage self,

Right now, you are in such a hurry to grow up. You think that life will be so much easier when you are an adult and can make your own choices and decisions. Turns out making the right choices and decisions is a lot harder than you can imagine. You do eventually get it right, but not until after you make a whole lot of bad ones.

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I want you to stop and try and work out who you really are, instead of thinking you are what other people tell you you are. What other people think of you does not define you, so please stop acting that way. If you can figure this out now, it will help you so much in the future, particularly with all those aforementioned  bad choices you made. You are a worthwhile person, and you do deserve to be treated with respect. You will waste so much time in bad relationships, as you don’t believe you deserve  any better.

You will marry a man that doesn’t respect you, that mentally and emotionally abuses you, and it will be one of the biggest mistakes of your life. You figure it out eventually, but waste a whole lot of money on a fancy dream wedding, and it takes you a long time to put yourself back together. Please skip this period of your life – You are much better than him, and deserve more!

You are not the person you’ve been told you are. You are worthwhile, intelligent and kind. You are not unlovable. The sooner you can believe this, the sooner you will be able to move past your childhood, and start building a positive life for yourself.

It wont be possible for you to go to Uni , despite receiving great marks and getting into the course you want. You will need to move out at 18, and get a job to support yourself. Please don’t give up though. Really try to get a qualification when you can, it will open so many doors for you down the track. You will regret not pursuing it when you are older. The more responsibilities you have, the more difficult it is to do.

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Another factor that contributes to those bad decisions you make is alcohol. I know you’ve just started drinking now, and it feels cool and fun. However you do some really stupid things due to being drunk over the years, that are not cool or fun at all, just downright dangerous. Trust me, so many of the regrets I have now were fuelled by alcohol.

I know you well, better than you know yourself at this age. I know you wont take any of this advice, and will always choose the hardest paths to travel. It wont be pretty. However, this time will pass. You will get out the other side.  And in your darkest moments, your lowest of lows, know that you will make it. You will be loved by the most amazing man, who will see all the good in you that no one else has been able to. You will have a beautiful daughter, an amazing husband, and will at last have a real family. Hang in there. It’s going to be a rough ride, but you will get your happy ending.

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Love older and wiser self. xx

What would you say to your teenage self, if you had the chance?

Suspending Reality.

You would think at 33 years old, and having lived the life I’ve lived, I would have more of a grasp on reality, and grown out of childish fantasies.

You would think.

Confession- I regularly ‘cyber stalk’ my ‘fathers’; both step and birth father. I wonder about them. I wonder what they are doing, where they are living, if they are even still alive.

To cut a long story short, I tracked down my cousins wife (from my birth fathers side) on facebook.  I saw from her profile picture that she had two girls, who only looked a little bit older than Milla. With the courage that only a few glasses of wine can give you, I ‘friend requested’ her. After she accepted, I bit the bullet, and sent her a message. Very polite, ‘I think you may be my cousins wife, I am Jane, A’s daughter, his brothers name is B, who’s son was called C, which has lead me to you’… With the beauty of facebook, I was able to see exactly what time the message had been read.

This is the part where I forget the reality of the situation, and allow my mind to skip merrily off to the land of sunshine and lollipops. I wonder if we will become friends? I look at the children in her picture, can I see any resemblance to Milla? These are relatives, real blood relatives! (of which I only have my mother, brother and sister) Maybe our children will play together? Maybe they will be like cousins, and we’ll have family barbecues together?

Then, of course, I imagine them telling my father. “Guess who found us on facebook!” I imagine them telling him how I’m married now, and have a beautiful daughter, his granddaughter. And I imagine him caring. I imagine him wondering if this could be his second chance at establishing a relationship with me. I imagine him wanting to be a part of our lives.

I await a return message. I wonder what it will say. I play out a thousand different scenarios in my head.

And then I realise she has ‘un-friended’ me on facebook.

There will be no family barbecues. There will be no tearful reunion. My father is not out there somewhere pining for his daughter.

I am such a fucking idiot. If he wanted to find me, he could. If he wanted to be part of my life, he has had 33 years to try. Why do I still get hurt by his indifference? This is not new information, he has never given me any indication that he has a desire to be in my life.

I put on a brave face. I say I don’t need him in my life anyway (which I don’t.) I say it’s his loss (which it is.) I don’t even know him.

So tell me, why does he still make me cry?

Abuse Doesn’t Always Leave A Mark.

Once upon a time, there was a fairytale wedding. The bride wore a beautiful long white dress, with a veil over face. She walked down the aisle of a quaint blue-stone church, and was married by a man of God.

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The wedding was celebrated with a grand reception in a heritage listed building, filled with candles and fairy lights. And the happy couple lived happily ever after.

Except they didn’t. practiseweddingThe bride had married a man who had emotionally and verbally abused her for many years. She married him because she thought that he was right; and that she was worthless, and deserved to be treated the way she was. She believed that no one else would ever ‘put up’ with her, and that she should be grateful that anyone wanted to be with her at all.

She left him ten months after the wedding, when she realised that no matter how badly she thought of herself, she could never bring a child into this environment, with this man.

And eventually, she did live happily ever after.

I have mentioned before my ‘first marriage’. I have never written about it, because, I guess I am scared. Scared that my ex husband will read it. Scared of the ramifications. Obviously it was a massive part of my life though, so it feels strange not to talk about it, when I talk about so much else.

I don’t know how to write about my first husband, so instead I will tell you all that is different about my husband now, my soul mate, the father of my daughter.

He does not tell me that I am stupid.

He does not tell me that I am too fat or too skinny.

He does not tell me that I am useless, that I can’t do anything.

He does not tell me what television shows I am allowed to watch. He does not say I can’t watch Sex and The City, because the women are too slutty. He does not tell me I’m not allowed to watch hospital dramas because his ex used to love them. He does not tell me I have to choose, either Home and Away or Neighbours.

I don’t have to ask his permission if I want to buy something. I am allowed to buy more than two magazines a month, if I want to.

I don’t have to check with him before I buy clothes, in case they are too ‘slutty’.

He has never called me a bitch, a slut, a scrag, a fucking cunt.

He doesn’t tell me what I must cook for him, and how I must cook it. He doesn’t care if I put the milk in mashed potato before the butter.

He doesn’t stop liking his friends, if they like me, because ‘what kind of person are they if they like someone like you?’

He doesn’t lose his temper in the supermarket if they are out of stock of something he likes. He doesn’t kick products off the shelves, and yell, and swear at the staff.

He doesn’t put me down in public. I don’t have to warn people before we go out, ‘Please don’t be offended, it’s just the way he is’.

He doesn’t hate all my friends, and get angry when I spend time with them, or talk to them on the phone.

He doesn’t scream in my face, throw things at me, punch holes in walls, up-end couches, coffee tables, heaters. He doesn’t smash things.

He doesn’t physically restrain me, and keep me locked in the bathroom, whilst his brother bangs on the door, telling him to let me out.

He doesn’t have secret bank accounts, where he hides thousands of dollars from me.

One of the first things he said to me after our wedding was not “Shut the fuck up”.

I am not scared of him.

I do not wish that he would just hit me. I don’t scream in my head ‘JUST HIT ME. HIT ME AND THEN I CAN LEAVE.’ Because if he hit me, well that is abuse. It’s OK to leave someone if they abuse you.

It’s OK to leave them if they leave a mark on your body. Because no one can see the marks they leave on your soul. No one can see how tiny and worthless and nothing they make you feel. How tiny and worthless and nothing HE made ME feel.

 

We went to marriage counseling, once, my ex husband and I. We never went back, as at the end of the first session, the counselor handed me a leaflet about a support group for abused women. He was furious, and naturally thought she was an idiot. I was confused. I wasn’t an abused woman? Was I?

The man I am married to now, loves me. Adores me. He has never called me a name. Never put me down. He respects me. I don’t have to ask his permission to do anything. We are equals. I am not afraid of him.

I am not afraid of him. Maybe abuse doesn’t have to leave a mark? A bruise, a cut, evidence. I was in a relationship with my ex husband for seven years, and I can’t remember ever not being afraid of him. I am still afraid of him.

On the 26th of November, 2011, I married my soul mate, my best friend, the best father of our child I could ever ask for.

And we lived happily ever after.

Disposable Daughter.

The prompt for this post is “What do you miss?”
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I miss having a father. My mum and biological father split up when I was two. Although we had contact on and off again over the years, we were never close. We lost contact altogether a few years ago.

My mother married my stepfather when I was four. Old enough to know better, yet I always thought he was my ‘dad’. I took his last name, (though not legally till I was 16), I called him ‘Dad’. He was, and to be honest, still is my ‘Dad’. He was far from perfect, but he was the only father I ever really knew. He had a ferocious temper, and was very strict, but he also had a soft side, and a great sense of humour. We’d often muck around, teasing each other, play fighting. He was my dad, I was his daughter.

When I was 15, Mum and Dad separated something that had been on the cards for a long time. However Dad and I stayed close. I would still see him, go out for dinner with him, and stay there some weekends. He was my dad. I loved him. I love him.

The divorce between my parents was not particularly amicable. I think Dad was pretty bitter towards my Mum, which sometimes put a stain on our relationship. Dad started dating someone when I was about 20, a woman that already had 2 young sons, 2 young sons who called him ‘dad’ despite having their own father, who they saw on weekends. The distance between us began to widen.

They got married when I was about 23. The man that had always been my father, suddenly began to look like a stranger to me. They never asked me to be in any of the photos. A few people asked me how I knew the ‘happy couple’, and looked shocked when I said that he was my step father. (a term that I had never used, he had always been just my Dad) Something I will never forget, and brings tears to my eyes as I write, is sitting at the table, whilst his best man made a speech about Dad, and his life, and never once mentioned me. It was like I had never existed. I excused myself from the table and went and cried in the toilets. Where had my dad gone?

The distance grew, though was never spoken about. Until I left my husband, about six years ago. My dad had always liked my husband, (they were startlingly similar) and after I rang him, and told him that I had left him, he never spoke to me again. He rang my ex, to see if he was OK. He invited him to Christmas, to his 50th birthday, to other significant events. But never rang me again. I wonder if he thought I was how he perceived my mother to be? Just throwing a ‘good man’ aside? Except my husband was not a good man. Or not a good man to me anyway. Dad never knew the way he treated me, the things he said to me, the life that we lived.

But I think, really, he was just looking for an excuse. An excuse to walk away from me. Because he had been edging away from me for a long time. I rang him, about a year later, and asked him to talk to me. He said No. Said he had nothing to say to me. And hung up. A little while later, I spoke to his mother, my step grandmother. At this time, I was pregnant with the twins. She said she wanted to see me, that she wanted me, and the babies, to be part of the family. I never heard from her again either. I found out later that my dad had proposed a ‘vote’ to the family, about whether they would ‘speak’ to me. Apparently it was ‘outvoted’. It was decided that they would not speak to me again.  I know how ridiculous that sounds. Who the hell does that? But, to my knowledge, that’s what happened.

He was my dad for so many years. Despite everything I still see him as my dad. And I can’t understand how he could turn his back on me. He wasn’t like my real father, who walked away before he ever knew me. He knew me. He chose to be my father, and still walked away. Did he always see me as just his stepdaughter? Just the kid of the woman he married? How could I be so disposable?

I miss having a Dad. I don’t know if I miss him, because maybe he never really was my dad? I miss having a person in that role though. I find myself tearing up at stupid things; Dads on reality singing shows being proud of their children, wedding scenes in movies where the fathers give their daughters away, corny sitcoms that have ‘Daddy and daughter’ dances.

I wish I had a Dad. A Dad that was proud of me for getting my life together, for marrying a good kind man, for having a beautiful child. Instead I have two fathers, neither of whom loves me like a daughter, or wants me in their lives.

The Yin To My Yang.

Todays prompt is to publicly profess your love and devotion for one of your blogger friends.

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I read a lot of blogs. A LOT. I admire and respect so many different bloggers. Yet this prompt has been the easiest one yet. Because there is only one person that I think of as a friend before a blogger. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa from Two Point Five Kids is an awesome blogger. But I don’t think of her as one of my ‘best blogger friends’, I think of her as one of my best friends.

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Lisa from Two Point Five Kids.

We’ve never met in real life. Never spoken on the phone. To be honest, I can’t  even remember how we became friends. We weren’t, then suddenly we just were. It was that natural. Our blogs are pretty different. I’m all serious blah blah, and she’s all funny ha ha. But together, we just click.

We talk every day via Facebook chat. Despite being on the other side of the country, I know she is always just a few key strokes away. (except when she is totally selfish and goes to work. Or worse yet, on a family holiday) I honestly wonder how I would get through my days without Lisa. She makes me laugh, and stops me from taking life so seriously. We take the piss out of each other regularly.

Lisa gets this whole blogging caper. We bitch and giggle about silly cyber dramas that break out. We get how exciting it is when a well known blogger comments on one of our posts, or replies to our messages. We run ideas for our blog past each other.

Lisa is fearless when it comes to topics she posts about. Whilst I over analyse everything, and wonder what people will think, she jumps right in the middle of controversial issues. She will run it by me first, and I will be over-cautious and hesitant (of course!); she will go ahead and publish it anyway. Like I knew she would. And I will have her back, like she knows I would. Lisa gives me more confidence in my own writing, and slowly some of her tenacity is starting to rub off on me.

I know one day we will meet in person, and will have an absolute blast together. I imagine lots of wine, lots of laughter, and maybe just a little bit of trouble…! Until then, I will make do with a virtual wine on the other side of the keyboard. Cheers my friend!

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Love that duckface!

Wise Words From Dr Seuss.

Todays prompt is “Favourite quote”.mayI am a big fan of Dr Seuss. Admittedly his books come across slightly acid induced, but children don’t notice that! I remember growing up with Dr Seuss books, my Nanny had a huge collection of them, and we would read them together whenever I visited.

Now, as an adult, I love Dr Seuss for his awesome quotes. Seriously, if you haven’t already, google them. The man is a genius. I love so many of them, it was hard to choose a favourite, but this one I think is the one that I need the most in my life ~

dr-seuss-quoteI have a problem. I care too much about what other people think of me. Even if I don’t particularly like or respect a person, if I think they don’t like me, I obsess over it. Why don’t they like me? What is wrong with me? What did I say or do? LIKE ME DAMMIT.

I am constantly worried about what I say and do, and how that will be perceived. What will people think of me, if I speak my opinion? What if the don’t agree with me? What if they don’t like me?

Who’s ‘they’ you ask? Anyone. Everyone. I have this ridiculous need for approval, from everyone. All the people.

Crazy right? I know.  It’s ridiculous. And impossible. Even if I never said another word again, well then people would hate that I didn’t have an opinion.

Which brings me back to ye wise one, Dr Seuss.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

I need to remember this. I need to print it on a T-shirt or something. Because I am who I am, and those that matter, really don’t mind. And that is all that should matter to me.

Stepping Out.

Today’s prompt is “Things that make you uncomfortable”.


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Being a blogger is somewhat of a security blanket for me. The safety of being on the other side of a computer screen gives me the confidence to be myself. The written word comes far more naturally than when I open my mouth and try to talk.

In real life, I am painfully shy. Meeting new people makes me so anxious. I feel small, and silly and out of place. I can’t find the right words quickly enough to flow with the conversation. Awkward silences send me into a panic. I have found since leaving the workforce and becoming a stay at home mum, these feelings have intensified. I’m out of practice talking to adults. I have nothing interesting to say.

So what happens when these two worlds collide? When The Hesitant Housewife blogger steps out from behind the computer screen and goes out in the real world?

Lately I have had the privilege to be invited to a few different blogging events. This is such a double edged sword for me. On the one hand, I really want to go. I want to meet  the bloggers that I admire, and enjoy reading. I want to network, get my name out there, build my blog.

On the other hand, I’m terrified. I feel like the dorky kid in highschool. Everyone else seems to know each other, and know their place. They are all so confident. They have their phones in their hands the whole time as they madly take photos, tweet, instagram, hash tag everything. No one has heard of my blog. No one knows who I am. Anxiety twists and knots in my stomach, and I just want to retreat to the safety of my own home, and my keyboard. To my little on-line community, my comfort zone.

So what do I do? Do I stay home where I feel safe and secure? Just stand still, and watch the world pass me by, because I’m too scared? Or do I put on a brave face and have faith that it will get easier?

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Merry Christmas

T’was the night before Christmas, and this Hesitant Housewife was being very slack, and leaving everything until the very last minute… just for a change!!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you, who have taken the time to read my posts, leave comments, send emails etc. I am honestly so grateful that you take time out of your own lives to read about mine, and offer so much support, advice and compassion. When I started this blog I had no idea it would grow into this amazing community,or the personal connections I would make with people I had never met.

Thank you to all those who have shared your own stories with me, either on the blog, or through private messages/emails. Many people have told me how reading my blog has helped them realise that other people are having the same problems, thoughts and feelings as them. You have all helped me, every one of you, by letting me know that I am not alone.

I hope that whatever holidays you celebrate, and however you celebrate them, you are surrounded by your loved ones, and find many reasons to smile. Much love and festive cheer to you all!

Merry Christmas~Happy Holidays,

Love Jane, The Hesitant Housewife xx

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Friend From Afar.

I’ve mentioned before about a lovely group of friends I’ve made from a forum of mums expecting bubs in December 2010.

There is one special friend I made, who ended up playing a very important role in my life.

Kirsty’s waters broke at 22 weeks, and her little miracle girl Imogen was born at 26 weeks. So teeny tiny, but such a fighter. I followed updates of how Kirsty and Imogen were going, amazed at their strength, and Immie’s progress.

Then, at 31.5 weeks, my waters broke. As we drove into the hospital, despite my pounding heart, I thought of Immie. My husband and I reassured each other. At nearly 32 weeks, we were fairly certain that our little one would be OK.

Over the next couple of days, as I spoke to family and friends about Milla’s imminent arrival, I told them about my friend, who’s beautiful bub was born at 26 weeks, and how well she was doing. Milla had eight weeks longer to ‘cook’. As much as I hated that Kirsty and Immie had to go through all of this, knowing their story gave me strength and confidence to deal with the fact that I was about to have my own little premmie. I know I would have been so much more afraid, if I had not been following their journey. I am eternally grateful for Kirsty, sharing her experience with us.

After Milla’s birth, I received so much support from Kirsty, as we discussed NICU, desats, B1′s, C-paps, all the medical jargon that you couldn’t understand unless you were living it. We understood each others highs and lows. We understood the feeling of jealousy of a ‘normal’ pregnancy; as we heard about the other mums in our group holding baby showers, going on maternity leave, growing bigger and bigger. We messaged each other to say how pissed off we were when one mum in the group told Kirsty that ‘they were jealous of her because she got to have her baby now, whilst they were still waiting’ (I mean, seriously??)

As time went on, and our babies grew, we discussed ‘secret premmie business’, that mums of term babies just couldn’t understand. The health problems, the developmental delays, the set backs. Despite never having met each other, we became firm friends.

When I was planning my surprise wedding, Kirsty was one of the few that knew about it (being in a different state, it didn’t count!) She gave me the most amazing wedding present, which I was so grateful for. She had even hoped to fly down for the wedding, but unfortunately had last minute work commitments.

I know that she has my back, and has stood up for me when so many others didn’t.

What started as a friendship based around our mutual situations with our premmie babies, has grown into a genuine, true friendship. We have shared many ups and downs together, and finally, this weekend, we will meet face to face. I am leaving hubby and toddler at home, and flying to Adelaide on Saturday for the weekend.

I am so excited to finally meet a person who has meant so much to me in the last few years. I cannot wait to meet the little miracle Imogen, and of course her gorgeous older brother. Despite being a little nervous, I know we will get on just as well in person as online, I know there will be a lot of laughter, and maybe the odd moment of ‘running amok’… And as much as I will miss my little family, it will be a nice break for me to recharge.

So bring on the weekend! I absolutely cannot wait!! xx

The Way Forward

Welcome to the new home of The Hesitant Housewife. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me. I have been simultaneously excited and terrified of launching my own blog, on my own website.

First and foremost, I must pay credit where credit is due ~ to Michelle from Little Hero Hosting, who fixed my blog, after I broke it within 24 hours of signing up, and over a long weekend. I kid you not. I am that bad at this!

To Kristy, from Kristy Gray Designs, who designed my logo for the header on my website and the profile pic. for my Facebook page. She did such an amazing job. Especially considering she created four different profile pictures, only to have me change my mind, and settle for the first! She also designs gorgeous invitations, party packs and birth announcements. She  designed my daughters naming day invites, first birthday/(wedding!) invites, and thank-you cards. Kristy is so easy to work with, creative and open to any design ideas. She is also very affordable.

(The above are in no way paid endorsements, simply a grateful acknowledgment and a personal recommendation based on my experience.)

As some of you may know, I have no experience in building a website, or any of the jargon that goes with it. Zip. Zilch. Nada. In fact I am so useless with technology, that I spent an hour tonight trying to figure out how to download the episode of Glee I missed last night. To no avail. So, needless to say, there have been much tears and frustration whilst putting this site together. My poor hubby has copped so many tantrums, so many screeching’s of “I CAN’T DO THIS!!!”  and throwing things around. So many declarations of “I will sell my soul to pay a designer to do this!!!!” And the tears. So. Many. Tears.  I do not understand HTML. I do not understand CCS.  I have had no idea what I’m doing. Yet here we are.

I did it. I know it’s not perfect. I worried about it not being perfect. However, I realised, that it doesn’t have to be perfect. It is a work in progress. And isn’t that what The Hesitant Housewife is all about? This blog is a work in progress. My posts will never be perfect. I am not the perfect writer. Nothing about my life is perfect, without flaw. Yet here I am. Writing this blog, on this site. That I did all on my own. (Well, apart from the help of my new best friend, Google!) I am a work in progress.  We are all works in progress. Let’s embrace our imperfection, as an opportunity to grow. As an opportunity to explore, to reach for new goals, to achieve. As long as we don’t forget to look behind us, from where we have come, at the path we have already traveled, and think, “I am here. What a damn good job I have done to come this far already.”

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“Success is not a place at which one arrives but rather the spirit with which one undertakes and continues the journey.”  Alex Noble