The heartfelt lasagna …

DO you know that burning sensation behind your eyelids, when you are so exhausted, that you can’t even close your eyes?
Sleep deprivation is a cruel mistress. She is so cruel, she has the ability to play mind games and manipulate you into turning every thought you have into a negative one.
Early this week, my son decided to wake up at 1am and demand that I sway him all night long. Every time I put him back in his cot, he cried and cried and cried. He only stopped when I was cradling him. Awesome for him; not so fun for me. This little dance went on for four hours. All I needed was some cocktails and I could have turned our sway into a rave.
I love sleep.
Maybe it is my Thyroid condition or being a mother, but my bed is where I always want to be.
I am that sleeping bear, that if you poke it, I am going to rip your face off.
However since becoming a mum I have learned to live off little to no sleep. My inner bear has taken a sedative and when I am woken, I try to be more like a teddy bear (see I used the word try).
So after my early morning dance off with my son, that cruel mistress sleep deprivation, made me down in the dumps and convinced I would not be able to make it through the day.
I was crying in the kitchen sink cleaning up from breakfast.
There was a knock at the door.
Because I was zombie mum, I answered the door, even though I had no bra on and my PJ pants are pretty daggy.
Lucky for me, it was a good friend, dropping off lasagna because she knew that I was doing it tough recently and wanted to help. “Don’t worry you don’t have to cook tonight”.
I burst into tears and hugged her. I was speechless. It was such a kind gesture.
I said to her later, “…It was if you knew I had the worst night.” She replied. “I had a feeling. So weird.”

That is the beauty of female friendships, they help put the bounce back in your step and lighten the load when times get hard.
I have recently seen a few memes floating around social media stating: “Support your local girl gang”. It is a message, I have always wanted to convey with girls and women alike. Support each other. Be there for one another. Find a common ground. Grow friendships.

In my lasagna- zombie mum moment, I thought about all the wonderful female friendships I have. I am so blessed to be filled with such amazing women in my gang.
You can never discount the power of female friendships they are precious and even if time has passed between words or you don’t see each other as much as you like, remember there is always a fabulous female, knocking on your door, ready to support you.

After my fabulous friend visit, I got some sleep, kicked the cruel mistress out of bed and scoffed my lasagna.
Sleep. Friends. Comfort food = happier mindset.

A Vegemite strip and a pair of Yeti leggings.

I look in the mirror; my hair regrowth is becoming a thicker Vegemite strip by the second.
My skin had decided to time travel back to 2002, when it was covered in poxy pimples from my forehead to my chin.
And my man eyebrows, well let’s not even go there.
I feel frumpy and fragile.
And you know why I feel frumpy and fragile, because I have neglected the relationship I have with myself.
Lately I have let my appearance go.

My legs, up until yesterday looked as though I was sporting a pair of yeti inspired leggings.
I have been wearing my hair in a little sumo pigtail on top of my head and even putting on make- up seems like such a chore.

I actually walked into a store with my ridiculous ponytail on top of my head. I looked so disheveled but I didn’t even care. That is not like me at all.

It made me ask myself: Why do I forget to take care of myself?
Am I too lazy to make an effort? To be honest, yes
Do I think it is selfish to make time to keep up my appearance? Yes.
Is it a priority to look after myself? No

After I answered these questions, it got me thinking; while I have been working on polishing my soul, I have forgotten the value of polishing my appearance as well.
Really our souls as well as our outside shell need to sparkle most of the time.
I am stunned that I thought looking after myself wasn’t a priority. That is just as ridiculous as my eyebrows 4 weeks after a wax.
Life gets in the way of having a pamper session. By the time the end of the day rolls around, I have a quick shower and pass out on the couch.
Now when you look good you feel good. And last week I looked crap so my attitude was also pretty crappy.

And the other realisation I had, was people  had to look at me. I didn’t want to embarrass my husband or son. I need to embrace my face and brush my hair.

While I was pondering my appearance, it reminded me of a conversation I had with my husband months ago. We were lying in bed and he asked me what my top priorities were?
I immediately said him and Archie.
He said “taking care of you inside and out should be a priority; otherwise we are all in trouble.”
Just when I thought I was going to roll my eyes at him, he surprises me with that little gem.
It is time to snap out of my hibernated housewife look and take time to bring back fabulous Fallon.

Girl power and all things spice!

I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister and granddaughter.
I am a writer, book worm and chocolate enthusiast.
I am a work in progress, a worry wart and I fly my freak flag often.
I love that I am a woman.
I adore how women can transform and evolve when life takes a sharp turn on a bumpy road.
I cherish what women are made of; we are made of steel and cotton wool.
I admire our inner strength it is powerful beyond measure. Our strength is always within in us, some days it is hiding deep down in the pit of our stomachs; but it is always there.
Women are such complex creatures; God really did some of his best work when he made Eve, you, me and all those fabulous queens out there.
I wish I could high- five God, to thank him for creating women, because let’s face it the world would be a very boring, untidy place; where nothing would ever get done. But all jokes aside, women are the soul of the community they live in.
I am one lucky gal; I have always been surrounded by strong women in my life, my mother, my grandmothers, my sisters and my closet friends.
I have forever been in awe of the sacrifices, strength and soul these women close to my heart and life have had; they are the true meaning of girl power.
Since I was 12 I have believed in the magic of girl power.
Like most young girls growing up in the 90s, I loved the Spice Girls, their charisma, glitter and platform shoes. I was convinced I was Baby Spice. I was forever giving the peace sign like Baby Spice. Even at church, during one of my primary school masses, when we had to offer each other the sign of peace. Instead of a handshake to the person next to me, I turned around to the whole school congregation and gave my best girl power pose. My year 6 teacher who smelled of Impulse deodorant and cigarettes, ushered me outside and told me I was inappropriate naturally I received a detention for my activism.
As a young girl the Spice Girls made me believe being a woman was the most exciting and fabulous thing to be. And that was the beauty of being a young girl, for me I believed I was special. I couldn’t wait to grow older, wear high heels and conquer the world.
But somewhere from girlhood to womanhood we sometimes forget what makes us special. Our dreams stay trapped in the fluff of our pillowcases and then we get to the point where we ask ourselves and to quote the Spice Girls, “Who Do You Think You Are?”
As a young girl, I was showered with belief from my mum and grandmothers. I was made to feel like I mattered, that being a woman was an asset rather than an emotional commodity.
But as I became more of a woman, the girl power sparks, started to dim, along with my self-belief. For most women evolution is a constant companion. We try to fit into certain roles, looks and ideas; that somewhere along the road our chameleon ways of trying to be 5 women in 1 female body causes our self-belief to flee and go rouge.
I believe women are a soulful force. We lead with our heart and souls, but how often do we actually listen to our heart?
We are not born with self-belief; I believe it is created over a lifetime. Each day, month and year, we are constantly learning more about who we are; learning from our mistakes and trying to be better versions of ourselves.
The light of who we are is waiting to shine, but for many, my self-included, we sometimes like to hide in the dark, afraid and dare I say it, because we think we are not strong or bold enough to shine.
As a woman I want to change the conversations we have with ourselves and others.
The words we use to describe who we are and the words we use to create our lives are not found in the Just Be You thesaurus. Rather the words we find are found on the pages of a doubt and lack of confidence paperback.
Finding ourselves and creating a life, is the most important work we will ever do. We have to honour who we are and this starts with not changing our story, but changing the plot direction to a more encouraging and embracing one.
We are the leading ladies of our own lives and we should never apologise for being who we are.
Women need to stop the comparison; the judgement; let go of the fear and remember we are all in this together.
It is time to be self-aware and just be you.

Morning reflections in a milk puddle…

I cried over spilt milk this morning.

Literally, my son threw his milk over the dining room table. It was 6am and I tried to catch it, I couldn’t, it went all over my clean floors, so I cried.

Why cry over spilt milk?

I don’t know, my hormones have been playing tricks with me and I am not in on the joke. I cried because motherhood sometimes feels a hell of a lot like servanthood, well if the apron fits…
My husband works away for days at a time. I hold down the fort and keep the household in organised chaos. This morning was day 5 and I was struggling.

I love being a mum, but this morning I didn’t want to wake up at 5.30am, make breakfast, clean milk and eggs off my wooden floorboards. I didn’t want to deal with a toddler tantrum, because there was yolk in the eggs.
I didn’t want to read Dr Seuss, even though I get a kick out of reading The Cat in The Hat.

I went to wash my hands and my son being the adorable munchkin he is, decided to pull all the toilet paper off the roll for the hundredth time. I cried again.
I looked in the mirror, saw the pimples, the bags under my eyes and bushy man eyebrows on my face and cried some more.
Early mornings, sleepless nights and doing it on your own is hard work.

Some weeks I breeze through being a mum, when my husband is slogging it out at work to look after his family. It flies by.
This week there was no breeze, literally the humidity over the weekend made me more of a mad mumma. I felt like a wrecked zombie.

Maybe I was so emotional because my brain was not in the right frame of mind. Some days I miss my old identity the one before I received the free motherhood lobotomy during child birth or maybe it is because I try my guts out, that I forget to take care of myself.

There are days where my needs don’t matter and what my son and husband want does come first.
And I am fine with that most of the time. But it is when the milk spills that I realise I am all out of balance and I have to take care of me.

I have to realise I don’t have to do everything. That I need to delegate learn to say no and erase the idea that women have to do everything. There needs to be balance otherwise I am no good to anyone, myself included.

Last week I struggled with finding the balance between being a mother and being Fallon.

Being a mum always wins the struggle and so it should, but there needs to be days where the mother’s guilt is wiped away with the spilled milk and I take time for me.
If it wasn’t for spilling that milk, I would never have taken the time to breathe and let go. Sometimes there is a place to cry over spilt milk.

Excuse me girlie are you a Mrs?

I RECENTLY told my husband that I hate being referred to as his “Mrs”.
It is a label I hate. It sounds bogan and makes me sound like I am a buzz kill, unfriendly and waiting at home to tie the ball and chain back around his ankle.
He thinks it is funny and endearing.
I hear a lot of blokes saying “Oh I better ask the Mrs” or “I will see if my Mrs can pick us up”
I cringe.
Being called Mrs is also up there with girlie.
It is sexist and patronising.
You never hear women going around to grown men saying, “ Hey boy do you know where my Mr Mister is?”
It sounds stupid. I cringed just typing that sentence.
I have been called girlie thousands of time, especially when I was a journalist. Not from those I worked with, but the people I interviewed.
I once had a man call me girlie during an interview.
“I hope you can spell, girlie.
“You better not defame me, girlie.”
I remember thinking to myself, “I know how to spell and the word starts with D and ends in K.”
That man was no better than me, but he made me feel small and for a mere moment I believed him, until I had a daydream of him with pigtails.
The truth was I never defamed him; instead he defamed my character by referring to me as girlie and not my name.
Along with girlie, I have been called a dumb blonde on countless occasions, with one woman asking me if the peroxide actually seeped into my brain and caused damage.
I also had a male friend years ago asked if I was a lesbian, because I wasn’t dating anyone.
So many labels, not enough costume changes.
Are the labels given to women there for the sole purpose to make us feel less relevant, less important and dare I say it inferior? Yes they are and it’s wrong.
I hate these defamatory labels, which are constantly sewn into the lives of women.
And that needle can pierce the soul.
There is an embroidery of women from all walks of life. So many different colours, shapes and prints.
To label women with words like, girlie, s**t, blonde, brunette, gold-digger, fat, red head, dumb, and unfortunately the list can go on. Just goes to show people need to polish up on their vocabulary skills and read a dictionary, instead of being ignorant.
Ignorance is not bliss it is madness.
My question is why are women the ones that are pigeonholed, stereotyped and put into a certain box?
Why are women seen more inferior, small, less than and why do we have to be labelled in the first place?
I know what you are thinking; why should it matter what other people think?
But the truth is we do worry what people think. It might not be something that crosses our minds daily, but its there, usually lurking when you are naked, in front of a mirror with the lights on.
And then we ask ourselves, am I stupid, fat and just a girl? Maybe I should crawl back in that box?
But I am here to remind you; you are more than the labels people give you or the ones on your handbag.
The labels from others do not define you; rather you are made up of the words you believe in.
The wonderful thing about labels is they can be cut off.
While I was studying at university, there was a woman who lived on my floor at college.
One day she was speaking about single mothers and how they were all bludging welfare cheats. Let’s say she had every single mother worked out- that is before I gave her my two cents worth.
I let her continue how children of single mothers end up on the wrong side of the law and they too will end up on welfare.
By this time I was a bit furious. You see a single mum raised my two sisters and I. She never wanted to be a single mother, but life had other plans. My mum felt embarrassed walking into Centrelink, but she worked several jobs and put us through private school. To me she is wonder woman.
So I told this young woman her judgement was ignorant and added that people are more than their circumstances, backgrounds and bank accounts.
Let’s say she felt a bit stupid after her argument because clearly I was not on the wrong side of the law, I was at university, proud to be raised by a single mum.
Women’s lives would be so much easier without labels. But I have a feeling they will always be stuck and sewn into women’s lives.
But as women we have the ability to unpick and throw the labels in a box and label it Ignorant and Sexist Trash and then set it on fire.you are more than the labels people give you or the ones on your handbag.

Super words to the rescue

IT only takes one word.

One little word can start off a thousand conversations.

A word can string millions of sentences.

Words can stab you in the heart and they can give you the confidence boost you need.

Words have many meanings and can be used for good and for bad.
It is time to stop negative words with one large full stop.
You are thinking, “Well we need a bloody big full stop, to end all the trash talk”.

And you are right, a full stop in disguise as something super: super words
We hear all the time of late the importance of super foods and their ability to make us stronger, happier and healthier versions of ourselves.
And I am all for what makes us stronger, that is why I have coined the term super words, words to make our minds and self-esteem happier, healthier and stronger.
We need to be able to have positive words to fuel our thoughts and our brain.
“I am too fat for that dress”, “I am not good enough”, “I am stupid” “My nose is too big” – these are just some of the trash we tell ourselves on a daily basis.

These words are like a leeching, rotting fungus that has latched onto our thoughts. We need super words to get in there and buff and polish those spores with a bit of glitter and a whole lot of elbow grease.
Working on ourselves will be one of the hardest things we will ever accomplish. Our whole lives we are a work in progress. I believe if we are not learning something each day, we aren’t really improving.

I need a good dose of super words lately; my poor self-esteem has been hurled abuse from my own lips. I have been telling myself ‘I can’t do this’ whether it is getting a project I am so passionate about off the ground or raising my son by myself, while my husband is working a hundred kilometres away. I have had days where my heart has sunk.
We all have days like this, many women are all too familiar with fungus growing on our self-esteem.

So I thought that is it, I am going to find five super words to help me believe in myself!

So here are my super words that have helped to remind me of my soul and who I am

ENOUGH: I am enough. Enough with this web of negativity you wrap around yourself. I do enough. It is okay to have enough some days.

BLESSED: I have my health. I have a beautiful family and friends. I have a roof over my head. I am a loved. I have a beautiful son and loving husband. I am looked after.

COURAGE: I have loads of this.

KIND: I always try to use kindness every day. I like to think kindness is my super power.

Worthy: I am worthy of all things I have accomplished and worthy of great things to happen to me.

I encourage you all to grab a piece of paper and write your super words down, keep them on the fridge close to your super foods.

No paper bags allowed….

It was the one night I forgot to accessorize with a trusty paper bag. How could I forget to cover up my offensive face….. said no confident woman ever.

But this particular night in 2005 I got yet another lesson on why I had low self esteem, waiting to catch a bus home after a night out with friends.

I was 19 and in my second year at university in Townsville.

I was studying what I loved and had a great social life.

The one thing I never had was a boyfriend. I was always the girl at the table, telling one too many dirty jokes and always saw blokes as my mates.

While  I was the life of the party, my confidence, like to play hide and seek most of the time

As a young woman, you do worry more about what others think of you, rather than how you see yourself.

During those years of partying and finding my way through growing up, I had many moments, which resulted in me crying myself to sleep on more than one occasion.

I must of had “slap her with an insult” tattooed on my forehead.

But this night, my heart fell, trying not to sink in the alcohol infused pool my stomach had become.

You know the feeling when you are completely gutted and you literally can’t breathe?

Well this was it.

A random bloke I had never met in my life; one I had no interest in, walked up pushed me and said: ” Are you really out in public, you are hideous, you should look at getting a face transplant”. He laughed, his mates laughed, and I stood there waiting for my heart to float back into my chest.

I did not move. I did not cry. I did not want to justify or let them they think they won. Part of me wanted to give him a face reconstruction with a huge right hook, but I thought, if he capable of that kind of talk, I could only imagine what his actions were.

Now 10 years later I still remember that night. And since then I have had my fair share of nasty comments, such as “I have a face like Shrek’ and “You are a fat…..well I’m sure you can fill in the explicit there.

How do people get off thinking they have the right to belittle someone?

There are people out there men and women who believe stomping on other people’s self confidence is a sport. It is as if they receive a touch down, for every vile comment they can sledge. Somehow this sport makes them feel better.

When you are a victim of confidence sledging, you never forget. My mind, has a vault, of every terrible thing that has been said to me and they always resurface after the latest blow to your self esteem.

For some reason I always remember the code of that vault and it opens. Why can’t I erase the trigger that opens up all the nasty discourse of my life?

When you are down, those memories are hard to shake and in a way you start to believe maybe there is some truth to what people have said to me in the past.

If you only hear negatives about who you are , it is hard to see the beauty that does lie within.

It takes a lot of soul searching and trying to move forward from strangers or people you love, who have hurled verbal and emotional abuse at you.

There are only a few times you can duck and weave before you realise you deserve better.

And the truth is we all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. We are who we are, and we are not defined by the trash talk. We are defined by our heart rising from the pit of our stomach and telling us we are beautiful.

We have to believe we are beautiful, we have to tell ourselves and others we are beautiful.

Make those self confidence thieves really cranky by telling them they are also beautiful.

Hopefully that will shut them up. Fight fire with sparkles.