Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Is private schooling worth the heartache?

Story from The Motherish by Penny Shipway

It was like a scene out of Gossip Girl: rich girls with their perfectly braided hair and matching ribbons being dropped off to school in their flashy cars. There were Mercedes, BMWs, Range Rovers, a Bentley or two, while my parents pulled up to the school in an old Chrysler Sigma.
I would flee the car as quickly as possible in the hope no one would see our embarrassment, bomb of a car. It was mortifying.
I was that girl.
A middle class girl in a rich kids’ school.
All my friends had mansions with circular drive ways and sparkling swimming pools that resembled Barbie’s Dreamhouse. We had an old Queenslander, which Dad painted himself, and a jacaranda tree which sprinkled its purple flowers over the backyard during spring.
It was an idyllic home and a place of which I will always have fond memories – a place where we climbed trees, played in the dirt and read books on the sunny deck. But when it came to school, I felt out of place. I felt like the poor girl.


Monday, 21 September 2015

"I had an orgasm while I was giving birth"

Story from The Motherish by Penny Shipway

We were driving to our local farmer’s market when my friend Michelle dropped the bombshell that she had an orgasm during labour.
I almost drove us off the road.
“I said to my husband, I think I’m going to come!” Michelle said.
“What!?” I said.
Michelle revealed to me that she hadn’t told too many people about this scientific phenomenon because she was unsure of how it would be received.
It’s not quite the sensation you would envisage while birthing your beloved offspring. I laughed and told her, “Well while you were orgasming during labour, I was yelling ‘this is so f***ed!’” Because, let’s face it, birth is not usually synonymous with having a good time. But what my friend says is absolutely true. Orgasming during labour is a thing.

And I’m not talking about using sex toys or playing around with your partner in order to take your focus off the pain of birth. This is about a woman experiencing an orgasm naturally as she is giving birth to her child. However, when it comes to explaining why this natural phenomenon occurs, things can get a little more complex.
Some say it could be due to the position of the baby in the vaginal canal, giving the same sensation a penis would give as it rubs a woman’s G-spot or vulva, for example. You know, the way a lucky few of us can experience an orgasm “inside” and not via the clitoris. Others cite rushes of blood or perhaps the release of the hormone oxytocin, otherwise known as “the love hormone”.
Michelle, a Sunshine Coast massage therapist, explained the feeling as cramps and orgasm combined. “Of course I still felt all the pain,” Michelle says of the feeling that occurred in the last hour or two of birth.
“It must have been the pressure on my spot, who knows! I just felt it went on forever and was definitely pleasurable, but not so much in a sexual way, more in a sensual ‘I’m woman and I’m kicking ass right now’ way,” Michelle said.
I did a lot of meditation and focus before the birth and sent a lot of female energy to my vagina. It was kind of funny to be honest, but I can’t say I was surprised. All I know is I didn’t move because I didn’t want the sensation to stop and then my legs went numb – then pins and needles,” Michelle continued.
Australian obstetrician/gynaecologist (OBGYN) and media personality, Dr Gino Pecoraro, says while orgasms are complicated and can depend on how a person is wired as to how their body reacts to an orgasm, the idea of women experiencing an orgasmic sensation during labour has “biological plausibility”. Dr Pecoraro believes they are most likely due to the amount of activity occurring in the genital area.
“Labour is genital-centric. The body is thinking about genitals and there’s an increase in blood flow, and an increase in pressure on the uterus, and labour’s rhythmic contractions,” Dr Pecoraro says.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

A letter to my neighbour

Story from Mamamia by Penny Shipway

To the woman over the road.
I’m sorry I had to call the cops to your house yesterday. I heard you tell them you were embarrassed.
Don’t be.
Domestic violence in Australia is real. And when I heard you and your partner arguing and screaming out on our street, I panicked.
I bet you wouldn’t believe this, but I cried. In fact, my heart was racing so fast.
I raced out the front of my house and stood behind the shrub peering out to see if you were going to be OK. I saw your partner trying to leave in his car and you were trying to stop him by leaning into his car window.
He tried to drag you along, but you kept screaming at him.
I heard you say, “I love you, don’t leave us.”
Then I heard you say, "Don't punch me in the throat!"
domestic violence letter
You then said something that really scared me. You said, “If you leave I am going to do something really stupid!”
I heard your darling little girl crying and I wasn’t sure if she was in the car or in the house.
I did not hesitate. I raced inside to phone the police.
There were more screams and thumps while I picked up the phone; my hands were trembling.
Thoughts swirled through my head as the emergency dispatcher asked me for descriptions of you and your partner.
“What if she dies right now before the cops get here?” I wondered as I gave muddled descriptions.
I told them you were wearing a blue dressing gown with white spots. When I saw you after I had hung up the phone I realised it was actually purple. When your partner came back to drop off some of your things later, I realised his car was pale green. I said silver.
I also told them you were in your 20s. But when your partner returned, I heard you scream, “You don’t know what it’s like to be 17 and bringing up a baby on your own!”
I didn’t realise you were so young. And I’m sorry I got some of those important details wrong, I wasn’t thinking straight, because I too was scared.
I just want you to know, I was on your side. I really was.
You don’t know how much I wanted to come over and give you a cup of tea. I wanted to ask you over to sit in my back yard, under our huge trees, and talk and let our kids play.
I also heard you yell to your partner that you didn’t want your daughter to be placed in child care and have the same upbringing as you did.
I gather if your partner left you, you would be forced to return to work and your darling girl would be cared for by others.
You seem like a good woman. You really do.
Raising children is not an easy feat. And even the most capable of us find it terribly hard most of the time.
According to White Ribbon, one woman dies every week as a result of intimate partner violence, and is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home. It is also the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44.
Thankfully, I grew up in a non-violent household, but we’ve had neighbours throughout our life caught up in domestic disputes.
You may not know this, but I had to call the police just months ago when another woman was being threatened just two doors down from you.
Who would have thought our idyllic, leafy, blue-chip suburb would be subjected to such violent outbursts on the streets?
Sadly, domestic violence doesn’t discriminate.
It can be in any household, anywhere and at anytime.
So, please know, neighbour, that your neighbours aren’t furious with you for causing a scene on the street.
We aren’t judging you for being too noisy, unsavoury, crude, rude or vulgar.
Nope, none of that.
We are batting for you. Your safety is paramount and we are so worried about you.
Because domestic violence is deadly serious.
White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Day, on November 25, aims to shine the spotlight on violence against women; their mission being for all women to live safely, free from all forms of men’s violence. Visit www.whiteribbon.org.au


Thursday, 3 September 2015

Mothers' groups: friends or foes?

Story from Kids on the Coast Magazine by Penny Shipway

Pic: She Knows

When you have a baby, your life as you know it ceases.
Fast-paced careers become laborious feeds and menial housework, corporate suits are swapped for pyjamas which are sometimes worn around the clock, and Friday night drinks are replaced with late-night milk parties of a different kind. So when you throw a random group of sleep-deprived, first-time mums together in a room and feed them cake and tea, it’s a wonder they don’t start a food fight.
Mothers’ groups are a lifeline for many people in the early months with a new baby, but just because you all happen to have a new baby does not mean you will automatically click. Some mothers’ groups bond immediately and last a lifetime, while others descend into unhelpful gatherings that are a joy to leave.
Melbourne author and social commentator Monica Dux says mothers’ groups can be an invaluable support system for new mums, but it’s not surprising that many groups fail. “Mothers’ groups are a really difficult place to navigate. Some people do find a place, some don’t,” she says. “They are good in theory, but I don’t think they always work. And the reasons why they don’t work make perfect sense; they are fraught.
“If you put a group of people with nothing in common – other than that they have procreated – in any social context, it’s going to be complicated. Parents are feeling scared, insecure and frightened. It can spell a social disaster.”
Monica, who has written two popular parenting books, Mothermorphosis and Things I Didn’t Expect (when I was expecting), says during her research she found just how passionate new parents were on this topic, albeit polarised. “I heard a lot of strong language. A lot of people said their mother’s groups were a pack of judgemental b*tches. One lady said it saved her life.”


Friday, 21 August 2015

Wanderlust is coming...

Unplug from the ordinary. Adventure awaits.

Pic: Novotel Twin Waters
Wanderlust Sunshine Coast will bring together a mindfully-orgasmic melting pot of yoga and meditation, musical performers, speakers, artists and chefs for a transformational retreat at Novotel Twin Waters on October 15-16. Get your mind, body and soul - and knickers! - into an ecstatically mind-blowing knot, regardless of where you are on your path. Wanderlust is a life-changing experience where you will meet new friends, find undiscovered abilities, and greater peace. Find your true north.

What are you looking forward to doing/seeing/engaging with? I personally can't wait to see Donavon Frankenreiter!

Have you got your tickets? GET THEM HERE

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Superhero museli bars!

OK, so superfoods don't exist and these don't really have superpowers, they are just simple, healthy muesli bars which I made today... but the kids will love them, promise!

From an amazing blog called Nourish by Ashlyn << check her out!!

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (pepitas & sunflower kernels)
  • 1/2 cup raw nuts (almonds & pecans), roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon (depending on how much you like cinnamon)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan sea salt
  • 3 eggs (organic & free range, if possible)
  • 1/4 cup sweetener (I used half/half pure maple and rice malt syrup)
  • 1/4 cup natural nut butter (I used peanut)
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs water
  • Stevia, to taste
Optional: cacao nibs, 3 tbs dried fruit (raisins, sultanas or cranberries), protein powder

Cook at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Decorating a nursery? Start here:

Story from Bupa by Penny Shipway
Move over teddy bears, ducks, farm animals and matchy-matchy nursery sets. When it comes to decorating the nursery, themes are out and vintage chic is in.
Belinda Kurtz, of Petite Vintage Interiors, says themes, in the traditional farmyard sense, have had their day.
people decorating a nursery 
“Parents are now moving towards decorating their children’s spaces to reflect the style and feel of the rest of their homes.
“This doesn’t mean that everything in the space can’t be childlike and fun, but the items chosen to decorate the room are thoughtfully selected.”
Kurtz says the best place to start is to find a cot you love, and work the room around that.
“Matching nursery sets are not essential. If you find a chest of drawers, small buffet or cabinet that is the right height and width to change baby safely, then consider that piece. It will have great storage for all the bits and bobs for changing baby and will likely get a second life somewhere else in the home when baby is all grown up.”
A nursing chair is also a must for feeding, settling and story time, Kurtz says.
“This doesn’t have to be a typical nursing chair; any chair that is stylish and comfortable is perfect. Also consider a night-light or beautiful lamp that can be dimmed, so you aren’t turning on the overhead lights during those overnight feeds.”