Sunday, 27 March 2011

#ausblogcon2011 debrief

It's taken me a while to sit down and write this all down. I've been avoiding it, partly because I didn't have the best of times, partly because I am just exhausted.

So here goes - short and sweet.

  • Everybody at the conference had a love for blogging which was amazing. Everyone had their own particular style and point of view which was great to see.
  • The place was filled with mummy bloggers. I am not a mummy blogger. Ergo I felt very out of place. It would probably have been better to market the day as a blogger meet up, or alternatively a mummy bloggers conference. Lessons for next time I guess.
  • I met some awesome people. Emma, Janelle, Kirrilly, Fiona,and they are just the couple I can find links for right now.
  • One session in particular was awe-inspiring - hearing Lori speak. I had tears in my eyes as she spoke - the strength and courage of one woman alone made the trip worthwhile. I didn't meet Lori at the conference, she was the belle of the ball and had plenty of other well-wishes, but it was worth going alone to hear her talk.
  • Going off your meds for a week is not a good idea. Especially when said meds keep you sane and your moods level. I ran out of my ADs the day before my trip and didn't have time to get a new script. I am slowly getting back to normal but lesson well and truly learnt.
As I mentioned before, the main the thing that I got out of the day, was a realisation that I am okay sharing who I am. I don't need to pretend to be something that I'm not. I don't want to advertise on my blog or do sponsored posts. More power to those who do, but that isn't what this blog is about. What this blog is, is my heart on a sleeve. It's the awful thoughts you dream in the middle of the night that you need to write down to release their power. How you feel envious and sad when a friend announces her pregnancy. It's about raw emotion as it comes. I don't want to censor that - it's not who I am.

The one thing I repeatedly heard at the conference is that people don't talk about their children, or family or partners because, "that's not my story". Now I definitely believe in protecting your children and if you are private person, protect your anonymity. But all of that is my story. My brother stealing from my Mum and I? That is my story. My relationship with my husband is my story. My emotions at other peoples fortune and misfortune - yep, my story too. And that's what I blog about. Believe me, there have been times when I have wished I didn't say something when someone else has read a post and been hurt. But this is me being honest to myself about myself. Sometimes that is painful. If you don't want to be in my head, don't read my blog. But if you do, be prepared for what you might read. It's not all pretty.

The night before the conference, my brothers girlfriend found my blog; I am assuming from all my references to #ausblogcon2011 on facebook and twitter. She sent me an email that was remarkably mature in nature.
In essence it said that she was hurt by some of the things I wrote, but that she 'got it'. Some people won't get it. But either respect it or move on.

I did leave the conference with a mustard seed of an idea that I want to grow over the coming year. It's not so much a business idea, as a way that I can give back, and hopefully build my 'brand' at the same time. More coming when I have firmed things up some more.

For now - I am back in business.

Thursday, 24 March 2011


Just a quick one to say I am still alive and that I will update soon (yes I know at abc 'they' said making apologies for not posting is a blogging sin, but the beauty is it is my blog and I can say what I want!).

Briefly I have mixed reviews from the conference - met some lovely people, had a bit of a time of it after skipping my meds, and felt like a loner in parts. But all part of the learning experience.

Biggest thing I learnt, or more accurately I recognized, was that I am a very open blogger. Very open. And you know, I am okay with that.

Friday, 18 March 2011

It's finally here!

I am currently sitting in my hotel in Sydney! I have spent the last three days visiting my aunt and cousins in Canberra which has been great fun. I hadn't had the chance to meet all the new additions to the family, so it was great to catch up and really spend some time with them all.

Then this afternoon I caught a rather turbulent and tardy flight to Sydney. I am here! I am also a tad tipsy courtesy of the @naffnangAU meet and great drinks! Several cocktails later and I am rather chirpy and a tad sleepy - the alcohol is doing my no favours!

Unfortunately I am stuck at a rather dingy hotel - it certainly looks nothing like the brochures! (Will name and shame another day). Am really looking forward to the conference tomorrow. Originally it was all about catching up with my girlfriends, but my too blog bbf's weren't able to make it, so my main goal now is to really think about what direction I want my blog to head in. Oh and also to get a little drunk :-)

Will be live blogging and tweeting as the day goes on - check out @fakedelight and #ausblogcon2011 on twitter for updates!

Hope you are all well - off to bed I go!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Stereotypes and the definition of family

First let me say, how cool is getting your groceries delivered to your door. Awesome. Makes life so much easier. So when a little survey box popped up asking me to rate the service of the site, no problemo - go ahead. So off I go ticking boxes, when I get to the 'statistical data' section. Male/Female - fine. Household income - fine. Then the next was Which of the following best describes your household situation? Nothing tricky there I thought, let's just tick married with no kids and be on our way.

Oops. Nope that's not an option. I can only be "Young Couple, no children". Okay so I can fit that. But what about if I hit 30 and we are still infertile? Do I suddenly not exist if I don't have children? There are no options for people without children, for anyone not defined as 'young'. Yeah oops.

The offending survey answers
 Is this how we society frames us - that if we don't have children, we are of no consequence, no value?

From Miall, 1986:
The United States and Canada are still strongly pronatalistic societies despite long term declines in their birth rates and average family size. Two traditional fertility norms continue to be widely accepted in North America: (1) all married couples should reproduce and (2) all married couples should want to reproduce (Veevers, 1980:3). It is within this context that Veevers (1972) conceptualizes childlessness- whether voluntary or involuntary-as a form of deviant behavior in marriage, a violation of prevailing norms of acceptable conduct. When cultural norms and values encourage reproduction and celebrate parenthood, childlessness becomes a potentially stigmatising status which can adversely affect the identities and interpersonal relationships of married persons.
 Twenty five years on and the stigma is still there. It might not be in the same overt way, but subtly throughout every day life, we experience it.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Self concept

Self Concept: In class uni examining attitudes, behaviours and personality

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Being a 'good wife'

A friend of ours recently approached Murray and asked him if our relationship was okay. His concern was that I dominate Murray and don't treat him very well at times. That I am too bossy and dictate what we will do and how we will do it. That Murray's self esteem is being eroded by my attitude towards him.

My first reaction was to laugh. I know I am bossy, and moody and temperamental and high maintenance. But almost immediately after the laughter ended, was the thought that this is how people perceive me. As an overbearing, narky wife who doesn't support her husband. Who doesn't love him 100% and doesn't consider him her equal and partner in life. Because I do, so very much I do.

This isn't a justification of our relationship. Only Murray and I know exactly what our relationship is like. I believe our friend was trying to help, trying to intervene before something happened like with my girlfriend and her husband. But it has got me wondering, what sort of marriages other people have, and are we really that 'abnormal'?

Some people barely every fight with each other, and only talk very calmly, even in the midst of a major disagreement. Others scream and fight over every small thing, but make up just as quickly. Many subscribe to the adage of never letting the sun go down on an argument, while others can hold a grudge for weeks and months. Some women (and men) withhold sex as a punishment. Others use more subtle techniques to get what they want - the old 'plant an idea in the males head to make them think it was their idea from the beginning'.

I think the main thing is that you are in the relationship for the right reasons - love, friendship and fidelity. However we choose to express that love is up to us.

Oh and the friends advice? He suggested throwing what I would call a 'mantrum' - smashing a glass against a wall and then staying at his Mum's for a few days. Rightio then.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Break ups

One of my good friends has just had her husband leave her. Completely out of the blue, he decided that he didn't love her any more and that their marriage was over. They have a gorgeous two year old girl and have been married for three years.

I am in shock. This is a man who doted on his wife and daughter. Like every couple They had their ups and downs but nobody would ever think that they wouldn't make it. She doesn't know if there is some one else, if he has felt this way for a particular reason - nothing.

Another of my friends broke off her marriage at the end of last year. Infertility damaged them badly, to the point where although she still loves her husband, she won't stay with him because he won't consider a particular fertility treatment. He has virtually no sperm but wont consider using a donor. Bit the issue isnt that he wont use a donor, its that he Won't even discuss it, won't say why he doesn't want to use it, simply won't even broach the subject with her. My friend is 40 and is now making the decision whether to give up her dreams of a child or go it alone.

I feel so blessed to be with Murray. We found each other early in life and married young. We have battles but we fight them together, without turning on each other. When times are tough, we offer support, not harsh words. We celebrate the good times together as well. He is my best friend and I wouldn't want anyone else.

For all of our misfortune with infertility, I wish everyone was as lucky as me in love