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All Your Mother Wants is Books and Pyjamas 

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Do you know what your mother really wants for Mothers’ Day, Birthdays, etc? Books and pyjamas. Possibly also tea. But definitely books and pyjamas. Let me help you out in your mighty task of buying your mother that perfect gift. Here are my perfect pairings to delight that special mother in your life.

For the Dog Lover

My first gift recommendation is Monty and Me by Louisa Bennet. A cosy pet detective about a funky dog who knows how to solve a crime or two. 

Pair this book with some super cute pyjamas like this onsie.

Dachshund lovers are there own seperate breed of people so you need to get them an extra special gift. Try Destination Dachshund by Lisa Fleetwood. It’s a really sweet travel memoir about love, grief, and there’s a dachshund spotting competition involved.

Combine Destination Dachshund with something like these adorable pyjamas that will warm the heart of any dachshund lover.

For the Mother that Loves Thrills, Chills, and Spills

You can’t go past L.A. Larkin’s chiller, Devour. It’s Antarctic noir. It has action, suspense, and some sexy sex. Step aside Robert Ludlum, L.A. Larkin is here.

Pair it with something like these fabulous matching onsies. One for you, one for your mother. Heaven.

Does your mother like more action than you can poke a stick at? Grab her Crimson Lake by Candice Fox. Even ultra famous reviewer Jason Steger reads Candice Fox.

Pair it with fabulous red satin pyjamas like these.

For the Mother Who Loves Love

Her Mother’s Secret by Natasha Lester is the perfect option. It even has mother in the title. Just go out and get it already.

Pair it with flower pyjamas instead of actual flowers.

The Beast’s Garden by Kate Forsyth is an evocative weaving of WWII, fairy tale, and love. Lush settings and intense conflict.

Pair it with rose print pyjamas, like these ones, to tie it all together.


For the most Fantastical of Mothers

This years hottest new Fantasy release is Crossroads of Canopy by Thoraiya Dyer. Gods walking amongst people, magic, warriors, and people living in trees. What’s not to like?

Pair it with some forest or bird pyjamas.

Jane Rawson’s From the Wreck is a speculative fiction take on family history. It is set in the 1800s and is gripping from start to finish. Expect Aliens, ghostly apparitions, and some light cannibalism.

Pair it with some good old fashioned long johns. Check out how much this model loves hers.

For the Mother Who Wants to be Kept in Suspense

Does your mother enjoy rotting mutton and murder? See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt is for her. It delivers the story of Lizzie Borden with a heady feast of flavours.

Match it with a super cute lamb onesie, obvi.

Please Don’t Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler brings you grunge music, amnesia and the seedy underbelly of life. Relive the 90s and see if you can find out who Brigitte really is.

Pair it with something super sexy.

For the Mother Who Likes to Laugh

Our Tiny, Useless Hearts starts with the smashing of plates, progresses to cutting the crotch out of trousers, and even incorporates a nod to the famous Romeo and Juliet balcony scene, but gone horribly wrong.

Pair it with some adorbs, heart-print pyjamas.

The Lucky One is Caroline Overington’s eleventh book and is full of hijinks and corpses. There’s a grumpy old man who doesn’t mind getting a bit of air to his nethers, a drunk art, a mother who wants to talk candidly about her sex life, a teenage waif and a sexy cowboy. Plenty of laughs but also lots of suspense.

Pair it with something fit for an heiress.

For the Mother Who Says No to Fiction

We’re All Going to Die by Leah Kaminsky. This is actually a joyful book about dying. I can definitely see the funny side of handing something with this title to your mother, but the content is great too.

Pair it with some killer pyjamas.

The Mad Woman in the Attic, get in that attic, Mother, where you belong. It’s a collection of essays on the portrayal of women in literature. It first came out in 1979. I love this book.

Pair it with some crazy good pyjamas.

For the New Mother

Things that Helped by Jessica Friedmann is a collection of poetic essays that express the yearning of her soul after the birth of her baby.

Pair it with something like these classic silk pyjamas for true indulgence.

Why not grab my fab book for the slightly frazzled mother in your life? Confessions of a Mad Mooer: Postnatal Depression Sucks explores my struggles through depression after the birth of my twins. Having three under three was chaotic and exhausting. It’s conversational, practical, and quite funny.

Pair it with these cow pjs to complete that mad cow vibe.

Now run off and spoil that special mother in your life. Just quietly, gin is also good.

Confessions of a Mad Mooer: The Favourite Child

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My nutella addicted middle child


My husband tells me that I favour our middle child. What’s more, my mother agrees. They tell me he’s cheeky, whereas when I look into his big blue eyes I see a child utterly without guile. I kind of figured they were just wrong. After all, his nonna seems to agree with me. He’s a sweet little boy who rarely throws a tantrum and enjoys sitting with his mum or nonna…


… of course there is that time that he said, “Happy birthday, poo poo head,” to his opa. But what three year old doesn’t find that kind of thing funny? And yesterday he did run off with his sister’s Batgirl and try to put it in the washing machine. I guess he did smack his identical twin brother over the head with a giant fairy tale book this morning. And he does lie in wait for his dad and constantly leap out at him like a minature ninja… but he’s still a very sweet boy. 


It’s not like his older sister and twin brother don’t have their moments. I seem to be constantly carrying one or other of those pair. I swear they were an Emperor and Empress in a past life. They still haven’t gotten the hang of walking on their own two feet. And the noise, oh the noises that come out of those pair. It is like living next door to an airport. So usually I’d just dismiss my husband and mother’s claims of favouritism. But this morning something happened to give me pause.


During the night my youngest child crawled quietly into my bed and went to sleep down the bottom of my bed. My daughter was already in the bed. It’s not unusual for me to end up with the pair of them in my bed, the only weird bit was that my youngest child didn’t come in screaming and then attempt to sleep on my head. Apart from that it was just your regular Monday night. Me, and my oldest and youngest children, just much quieter and less physically invasive than usual.

At about 5am my mini Empress woke me to escort her to the toilet. I obediently did so but insisted she be quiet as to not wake the baby of the family. There’s only a minute gap between my boys, but it still counts. She did her best to stay quiet but eventually the urge to chat took hold not long after we returned to bed. I reminded her again to be quiet because of the baby. The three year old baby. And then I took a closer look at the baby. It wasn’t my youngest child but my middle child. And suddenly I got filled with this sense of urgency that my daughter must be quiet and my little boy needed to sleep. My heart stuck in my throat and a feeling of panic began to well up.

It’s a feeling I recognise all to well. It’s a very similar feeling that I used to get when looking at my boys when they were first born, and more so for my middle child. He was the smaller twin. The weaker twin. The one that almost didn’t make it.
During my pregnancy with my boys everything was going perfectly until 30 weeks. All of a sudden everything changed. Twin B had dropped off in his growth rate, his heartbeat was getting harder to detect. At 31 weeks my waters broke and I was kept in hospital on antibiotics and receiving daily ultrasounds. Twin B continued to tapper off. One afternoon at 32 weeks they told me that I’d need a cesarean the following day as the growth was now to little and the heart rate too uneven to endure a labour. I didn’t care. I wanted a live baby, I wasn’t fussed if that meant no vaginal birth. 
That night the nurses came in and hooked me up to a monitor, I could tell things weren’t great. Nobody yelled or screamed but they decided to start me on the IVs I’d need for the cesarean a bit early. They continued coming in and out and then decided they’d wheel me down for surgery early. And then they felt given we were already there why no nip into the emergency delivery theatre and just get on with it. 
My boys came out and both cried. I cried with relief that they were alive. They took twin B out first because he was the most fragile. So twin B became twin 1 and my middle child. He was tiny. 1.7kgs. He was perfect. And he was tough. He and his brother only needed nose prongs and only spent 3 weeks in the NICU. It could have been so much worse. I witnessed so much worse for other parents in the NICU. But it was enough to make me thankful that they were alive. And fearful. 
Most of my worries were around my middle child, being that he was the one that had the issues in utero, and was 400 grams smaller than his younger brother. He’s fine now. They both are. Perfectly little boys that play and laugh most of the day. But I guess I still have that anxiety. That worry that he’ll be gone. That he won’t make it. It’s irrational and buried, but it’s there.

So although they’re wrong that my middle child is my favourite, because I love all my kids equally, maybe they’re right that I treat him a little differently. Because maybe I’m just a little bit more grateful that he’s alive, because he nearly wasn’t. 
Do think you have a “favourite” child?

Toni Jordan on Character and Dialogue at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre

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Toni Jordan is actually more radiant in person

Once upon a time there was a writer locked in a tower. She did not grow her hair long, she did not dream of a knight so bold to rescue her. Instead she sat and thought about characters and dialogue and how she would like to declare war on adverbs. She didn’t want it to be a short and relatively peaceful war. No, she wanted all adverbs to be captured and interrogated and then inevitably executed. Maybe 2% of them would live, but the rest would die. And so one day, when she had escaped her tower, she came unto the Callan Park Centre of Writerly Deeds, and there she did enlist the help of peasant writers to join her in her war. The writer’s name was Toni Jordan, and this is the story of the day she taught a Character and Dialogue class at the New South Wales Writers’ Centre.

 

Toni Jordan strode through the doors of the Judith Wright room, drew her mighty whiteboard marker and declared, “Today we wage war, who is with me!”

 

A gentlemen opposite me adjusted his glasses and gulped. I dusted the biscuit crumbs off my woolly vest and stood up.

 

‘Ummm, okay…. Will we be back in time for morning tea?’

 

There was a murmur of agreement around the room. Morning tea was important.

 

‘What is food when our minds be starving?’ Toni stabbed her marker higher into the air.

 

‘What about lunch?’ a lady in the far corner managed to pop down a hot cuppa to say. ‘There’ll be lunch right.’

 

‘We’ll definitely need lunch,’ the woman sitting next to me managed to say around a mouthful of sugar snap peas. ‘I get super cranky if I don’t eat.’

 

‘Yeah, same.’ I nod knowingly at the green bean machine to my side. ‘I love a good literary war as much as the next person but could we perhaps declare it after lunch?’

 

Toni Jordan seemed to deflate on the spot, her marker sank to her side.

 

‘Why’s it always so fucking hard here?’ She’s not even looking at us, she’s staring at the ground as if hoping it will answer her. And truth be told it’s probably more sensible than the rest of us. ‘In Melbourne we have literary wars and cocktails more often then I change my underpants.’ An older gentleman at the back of the room begins to snigger a little. ‘WHICH IS A LOT! I change them very often, thank you very much. My underwear aren’t the problem. It’s not me, it’s you. You’re all so bloody interested in biscuits.’

 

‘Would you like one?’ I say.

 

Toni shrugs, I take it to mean yes, and pull out one of the seven packets I have brought. Our great lecturer sits down at her desk and begins to mournfully chew her way through a Belgian chocolate virtuoso.

 

‘Alright, let’s just do a workshop.’

 

And so began one of the best workshops of my life. Okay, part of the above may have been made up, but Toni Jordan did come to the New South Wales Writers’ Centre, she did teach us about character and dialogue, and she does hate adverbs. She really does.

 

I know at this point I am supposed to give you all the hot tips that she gave us, but quite frankly, I don’t want to because I just don’t think I would do the course justice. This was the best dialogue course I have ever done and for you to really get the benefit of it, you really should attend a workshop with Toni Jordan, or get a mentorship with her.

I’ll list a few things, but my mind is still going a mile a minute trying to process everything. It really was an extraordinary course. I think it was because we had the opportunity to do several writing tasks on the same thing, character, but focusing on different strategies each time. I guess that’s why you really had to be there. I’ll slap down a few general pointers for you, but, as I have said eleventy billion times, you really need to do a course with Toni Jordan yourself.

 

Tips

  • Multiple protagonists makes your job harder and don’t often make the story better
  • A weakness in your writing is not an excuse to shove in more protagonists
  • Readers can relate to characters without them having to be the protagonist (Ron, Hermione)
  • Your protagonist should either be skilled, in jeopardy, elicit sympathy, or be likeable
  • Avoid having your character being still and alone where possible
  • Always have subtext
  • Every character matters
  • Inconsistencies in character can help bring them to life
  • Dialogue is to reveal character
  • Dialogue for each character needs to be so distinct that you can pick it without dialogue tags
  • Believability is more important than accuracy
  • BAN ADVERBS! (But #notalladverbs, you can keep some)

 

I’m writing historical fantasy at the moment, what are you working on right now?

Toni Jordan is the only author in Australia known to have a dedicated fan page to her socks on Pinterest.

Toni Jordan’s website can be found here.

Toni Jordan twitter account can be found here.

Toni Jordan Facebook page can be found here.

 

Find the New South Wales Writers’ Centre  here.

Find the New South Wales Writers’ Centre on Facebook here

Find the New South Wales Writers’ Centre on Twitter here.

 

 

Bloody Bonza, Sheilas! #IWD2017

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Happy International Women’s Day 2017. Let’s celebrate by talking about some bloody, bonza sheilas. And for a rare change I won’t be mentioning Kate Forsyth on my list. In fact, I’m going to try to shake things up by mentioning people I haven’t really blogged about a lot before. Enjoy.

Lucy Lawless

I decided to start the entry with a New Zealander because us Ozzie’s are ALWAYS stealing stuff from our cousins from across the sea. I figured it was better to get the theft out of the way right at the start. So what makes Lucy Lawless so bloody bonza? Let’s start with Xena. I was 16 when Xena first graced my television. I had been a Hercules fan prior, I’m a mythology nerd and love action shows and movies. But then came Xena. She was so much more than any other character had ever been. Here was a powerful woman, with many skills, who never hid herself. She didn’t have a meek alter ego that she hid behind in order to fit in, she was just her. She was guilt ridden, she was seeking redemption, but she still never hid who she was. This was mind-blowing to me. And as a self loathing teen who had all their mirrors covered, this character was exactly what I needed. And Lucy Lawless played her to perfection. And then she continued on to play interesting and powerful women in other projects. I salute you Lucy Lawless, you helped save my sanity.

Magda Szubanski

You’re not Astraaaaayan if you don’t love Magda Szubanski. She has brought us so many important characters such as, Pixie-Anne, Chenille, and of course Sharon. Sharon is possibly one of the most bonza characters of all time. She loves netball, she’s a loyal friend, and she loves pashing sportsmen. Nothing more bonza then a good pash. On top of that she is a writer, an advocate, and someone who has shared their own struggles in order to help uplift and heal others. All the love to Ms Magda.

Miranda Tapsell

Okay, it’s a given that Miranda Tapsell is brilliantly talented. She can act, she can dance, she can sing. She has accolades for movies, television, and theatre alike. Modern, Shakespearean, comedy, drama, whatever, she can do it. But what makes her truly bonza is that she is on Play School. Bless her. She is my twin boys’ absolute favourite presenter and I can be guaranteed a cup of HOT tea when she is on as they sit spellbound. Thanks for being such a deadly sheila.

Candice Fox

Who is Candice Fox and what makes her so bonzaristic? Candice Fox is an internationally renowned author of Crime Fiction and protege of James Patterson. Despite this, she is not above admitting to crying in the face of rejection. At a Sydney crime event hosted by A.B. Patterson an audience member asked her how she dealt with rejection, her response was, “I cry.” She then went on to detail how she in fact cried so much in the face of rejection that she became known as the girl who cries amongst some editors. Talk about refreshing. She doesn’t pretend that rejection never bothered her, and that she’s so thick skinned she just kept going, she admitted that it did upset her. The realness is just so beautiful. Thanks for being such a bonza sheila, Candice Fox.

Judith Lucy

It is hard to find the right words to describe just how grouse Judith Lucy is. Rad? Amazballs? Brillhole? None of these seem to quite cut it. She is a comedian who keeps it completely real. She was my very first favourite comedian. And although Kitty Flanagan has caught my eye, Judith remains number 1 for me. She has a knack for phrasing things in such an understated way, yet ringing out every ounce of humour. I love her, I adore her, I worship her. I had hoped she was my long lost sister, but alas, nope. She is not my dad’s other daughter. So I’m still looking. But in the meantime I shall continue to enjoy her comedic ways.

Cass Moriarty

Cass Moriarty is an Australian writer who not only writes beautifully, you should read The Promise Seed, but also tirelessly advocates for other Australian writers. I honestly have no idea how she finds time to write because she is always putting up reviews of other authors and sharing their achievements. I assume there is some sort of dark magic at play, where she doesn’t need to sleep, but I am eternally grateful that she has chosen to use her powers for good instead of evil. You bloody ripper.

Nakkiah Lui

Passionate, eloquent, inspiring. These three words pretty much sum up Nakkiah Lui. I have had the great pleasure of hearing her speak at events quite a few times. I also stood behind her at a bar once, and freaked out and thought about throwing myself at her and telling her that I loved her, but managed to get some self control. The first time I heard her speak was at an Emerging Writers’ Festival Roadshow. She was so raw, and she swore and she wasn’t afraid to disagree with other panelists. I watched her in awe. I was so used to seeing panelists trying to be awfully polite, and just try to go along with everything, and if they disagreed do it with a compliment sandwich, but Nakkiah just spoke her mind. It is this realness that makes Nakkiah not just bloody bonzer, but deadly. Also, just quietly, she’s part of my current fav comedy show, Black Comedy. Check it out if you haven’t.

L.A. Larkin

Or Louisa as I call her. Louisa is this internationally recognized crime writer, who speaks to the little people such as myself. She’s just so generous and giving with her time and full of great advice. If you ever get a chance to go to any of her author talks or workshops, GO! She just has such an easy going nature, and a great sense of humour that you just enjoy sitting in her presence and learning. And the most bonza part of all is that she came to as an Australia as a backpacker just to drink and have an awesome time, rather than for self exploration or academic reasons. She also approves of having a quite sip of wine in order to silence the inner critic when writing. What a rad farken sheila.

Kirsty Mac

A comedian, a bonzer unit, a sayer of things. But not only that, she’s a person of extreme self control. You know what happened today, this very day of woomanhood? Kirsty Mac saw a hot piece of tail walking along the street as she was parked at the traffic lights. And you know what she did? Or should I say, she didn’t do? She showed almost superhuman restraint and didn’t scream out the window at him to compliment him and let him know just how fine he was and how much she admired his visage. Let’s all raise a glass to Kirsty, may we see her perform, may we become more like her, in her restrained, and humble manner.

Tania Chandler

Writer of crime, hard worker, sayer of amusing things. She takes the archetypes of crime and then shuffles them around so to put the women into the main roles. The male, hard-boiled cops, become the love interests, the femme-fatals become the main characters. Bloody bonza stuff. She doesn’t simply write the same stuff as many others. She takes conventions and then does her own thing. Bonza.

Penny Wong

Okay, I’m not the most political of mammals. I’m not a fan of torturing people, but I also don’t know much about economic growth, and geography… maths… anything more recent than medieval history… and many, many other things. But I know that I like the way Penny Wong handles herself. She’s had dick-heads make meow noises at her, wankers pull faces as she talks, mainsplainers and manspreaders trying to take up her hard fought for time and space, and somehow she powers on. She just gives that cold hard stare, keeps her voice on that even keel and just keeps pushing on forward. She’s a national treasure. A bloody, bonza, national treasure!

Denise Scott

A list of bloody, bonza sheilas would not be complete without the bloody, bonzaest, farken sheila of them all, Denise Scott. A woman who knows what a uterus is, a woman who knows what a double uterus is. A woman who knows how to done a leotard in seconds flat. A woman who has been a clown, a comedian, an actress, and a lover. Not my lover, but hey, I’m open to suggestions. She’s an iconic Australian comedian that pretty much every Ozzie recognises. She’s been in recent hits, such as Winners and Losers, as well as older hits, such as The Big Gig. You name it, she’s done it. Walked on stilts, check. Seen artwork of a smoking vagina, check. Had a shitty time in a maternity ward, check. Sworn at audience members, check. Run, terrified away from an angry mob, check. Drank all the wine, check. If anyone is a bloody, bonza sheila, it’s Denise Scott.

I would have loved to have written about more bloody, bonza sheilas but my kids are going apeshit so I have to go. Help me out by mentioning your favourite bloody, bonza sheilas in the comment section.

Read about more bonza sheilas here: https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2016/10/21/20-real-life-wonder-women/

Aleesah Darlison: #Robinpedia

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adrobinpedia

Aleesah Darlison is a former marketing executive, the creator of Greenleaf Press, and a Queensland writer of over 30 books. Somehow she also finds time to go to the toilet, shower, and smile. Obviously she is either the product of some nefarious scientific experimenting into how far authors can be pushed, or a robot. Either way she’s an amazing asset to the Australian book industry and we’re lucky to have her. Oh, and she also once had a pet eel…. Don’t worry Aleesah, I grew up in country NSW too, I get it.

In her capacity as an author, Aleesah has written several popular children’s book series including, Unicorn Riders and Totally Twins, as well as several stand alone books and picture books. She is published not only in Australia but also the US, UK, Hong Kong, New Zealand, France and South Korea.

Greenleaf Press is Aleesah’s newest venture. It provides critical support to authors and illustrators, offering services in editing (my buddy Georgina Ballentine works there, pick her pick her), manuscript assessment, mentoring and so much more. With the rise of self publishing it has become increasingly important for authors to be able to find quality support for their ventures, Greenleaf Press does provides this.

One of the major events that Aleesah and Greenleaf Press has planned for writers is the Sunshine Writers’ Retreat which runs in November. It’s where writers get to go relax, have food provided for them, interact with all things writerly, and just kick back and create. Aleesah being an advocate of children’s literature isn’t stopping at providing events just for us old farts, she’s also has KinderFest, a roving literary festival; and Sunny Kids Camp, a full day camp that allows children to learn from experienced children’s authors.

Aleesah is a fan of the 80’s. She has an extensive collection of leg-warmers and fluro muscle tanks. But mostly, she is a fan of Top Gun. I cannot confirm or deny the fact that she prefers to be called Maverick than Aleesah. But I think if you search your heart you’ll know the truth.

FYI, You’ve Got the Love by Florence and the Machine, Daft Punk’s Lucky and several other cool songs were playing at Salt Meat Cheese as I was typing this entry up. I guess another fun fact about Aleesah, AKA Maverick, is that she inspires absolutely incredible song choices. Those of you who like to write whilst listening to music, or in cafes might I suggest that you pop a pic of ‘Maverick’ up so that she can bring you the luck of hit songs. Hopefully hit songs means hit novels. It’s too dangerous not to try!

I recommend this one I turned up on google image search-

ad-with-books-and-unicorn

Find Aleesah’s website here: http://www.aleesahdarlison.com/

Find Aleesah on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/AleesahDarlisonFanPage

Find Aleesah on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/aleesah

Find Greenleaf Press here: http://www.greenleafpress.net/

If you have information that you feel would enhance this entry please leave it in the comment section…. Unless it is simply to point out that I am in fact dyslexic, because I already know that. It’s actually in the about section.

 

Learn more about Robinpedia here: https://riedstrap.wordpress.com/2016/08/11/robinpedia-robinpedia/

This Day I am Full of Rage

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I am raging and I can’t seem to stop. I’m not raging against any political motion or global crisis, I am raging against my insignificant life. A small thing in the context of the globe yet I still rage. I am so filled with hate and despair right now I could cry.

It doesn’t help that I’m exhausted because all three kids had a restless night and all three wanted to sleep directly on top of me at the same time and I handled it on my own. It doesn’t help that I am still in pain from a spider bite I got at a family lunch three weeks ago. It doesn’t help that I have no more money left for a doctor visit nor medication. It doesn’t help that I am not sure I have enough money to cover groceries this month to feed my kids. It doesn’t help that my daughter cries every morning when I drop her off to school and I cannot afford to pay for parking to stay with her. It doesn’t help that the morning bell doesn’t go on time. But mostly it doesn’t help that I feel utterly unloved and unsupported. 

You see, everyone keeps on telling me what a great guy my husband is. And on some levels he is. He is handsome, he is smart, he tells good jokes, and he usually does the washing up. But he has a couple of issues that make feeling loved and supported by him really hard; he hates anything he perceives as weakness- this includes having emotions, and asking for help; he has his set routines and if you want to tweek them you can just go get fucked, be damned that your whole life is different because you’ve produced three kids together and be damned that my whole life has changed as a result of said kids. I love them but they’re exhausting and sometimes I need help. And so I rage because stupid me can’t get it through my thick head that needing help is weakness and I will be cut down if I dare to need it.

Of course he doesn’t admit to his own weakness of not being tolerant or supportive. He says it’s my own fault. I don’t talk to him in the right way or at the right time to encourage him to want to help. I’ve asked him so many times in so many ways over the last five and a half years that I’m calling bullshit on this. He has a weakness, a massive one, ironically it is how he reacts to what he perceives as weakness. In truth he just isn’t good at sharing, sharing his compliments, sharing his encouragement, sharing his space. I’m a youngest child, I’m excellent at sharing, I’ve never had a choice not to. And so I rage.

And I rage at the people who tell me what a great guy he is and how I should give him more time to relax. He works long hours, he only sees the kids for a few broken hours each week day and at least one night a week he doesn’t see them at all. And at least one weekend a month he is likewise away. Oh he works so hard, he needs a break…. well what the fuck do you think I’m doing whilst he’s away? I’M TAKING CARE OF THREE YEAR OLD TWINS AND A FIVE YEAR OLD. It’s not exactly restful. On top of that I am a working writer. Yes, I earn money from my writing, I actually have to do it. It’s not all fun and something I can just put aside as it’s just some silly hobby as some people like to think. I’m a working mum getting limited support. I AM FUCKING EXHAUSTED. WHY AREN’T YOU TELLING MY HUSBAND HOW HARD I FUCKING WORK AND THAT HE SHOULD GIVE ME A BREAK? WHY IS IT ALWAYS ME WHO HAS TO DO MORE? And so I continue to rage.

This month he is away two weekends with work commitments. Next month he is away for one weekend and then another week with work. On top of that he is also going away with the men folk of his family for nearly a week. When I suggested that perhaps in future the menfolk could compromise on times given how full his schedule is I was shutdown. I was put down as being an unreasonable harpy not understanding the complexities of scheduling. Never mind somebody might want to think about our schedule. No, things that drive me to exhaustion aren’t important. They’re not for consideration. And so I rage. And so I cry. And so my body breaks down from being forced to carry a load it cannot and I vomit. I vomit and I rage.

My husband promised the kids that he’d take us away for a weekend in January. He’d promised it ages in advance. The kids were so excited. Then his friends wanted to play boardgames on one of those days. Family weekend away was cancelled. The kids cried. But you know, complexities of scheduling, this was the best way to do it and I can’t complain because he never gets to do anything. I got to do a writing course so he should be able to cancel a family weekend to hang out with his mates. Doing work related courses for me is akin to playing games with your mates.

He thinks I’m unreasonable that I wonder if he is having an affair. He doesn’t tell me when he’ll be home, he is away from home so much yet needs a break from us, he doesn’t tell me that he loves me- the best I get is ditto, and he won’t tell me what he loves about me and why he’s with me because I shouldn’t need to be told and begging for compliments is pathetic. And he’s right, but I’m not begging for compliments I’m begging for love and support. And that’s actually even more pathetic. I shouldn’t be so unlovable that I need to beg someone to love me. And so I rage and I weep.

I know that nothing will change because in space nobody can hear you scream. And on Earth they hear you but they just tell you to shut up because you’re so lucky to have such a wonderful man in your life and you really must give him a rest. So what does that mean they think of me? That I’m lucky to be driven into the ground with exhaustion? That I’m lucky to have my job treated as a silly little thing that needs no time nor effort nor respect? That I’m lucky to never be told that I am loved? That I am lucky that begging for consideration is met with contempt. And so I rage against the futility of it all.

And so I rage and I hit publish and I know nothing will change because I am lucky to be with him but he is unlucky to be saddled with me.