Monday, 14 November 2011


It's nearly ten days ago now and I still haven't blogged about it. Partly because life just keeps sweeping me along, as it does, and partly because I don't want to seem like I'm bragging.
But in this case I'm just going to because I am really, really proud of my husband.
Last week The National Sea Rescue Institute invited us to their annual dinner and presented Charles with an award for bravery for his efforts to save Tim from the shark attack. It was really moving that his humble and spontaneous act to save a friend's life was acknowledged formally by the community and National Sea Rescue.
In his typical nature he took it in his stride. So I take it apon myself to blow his horn, just a little, as its not like everyone gets an award for bravery in their lifetime, now is it?

Thursday, 3 November 2011

confessions of a mother

After almost four years of motherhood I think I can safely say that the role has now completely infused with my being and I cannot imagine life any other way. I have come a long way since the day we arrived home from the hospital with two tiny sleeping bundles, placed them in their crib and thought: "Now what? Wonder what the waves are doing?" But it wasn't long before they both woke up screaming for a feed, needless to say Charles was surfing and I was shock.
Motherhood did not come easily to me and I'm probably better at it now that the girls can walk, talk and feed themselves. For a long time I felt very frustrated at not being able to get on with my life as I had  known it. I think its reasonable to say that after living your life according to your own rules for thirty years, bearing a child, or two, is a massive shock to the psychi. A shock which I think is rarely taken into consideration. In the olden days women were raised and prepared from an early age to become mothers. But these days most women get on with living their lives, travelling and building careers before they decide to have a child. On a whole, I think first time mothers are completely ill-prepared psychologically and should have psychological help in the first months of motherhood.
Having twins is ofcourse a double whammy and even more limiting on the freedom front. I used to watch with envy as mothers with their newly born singletons calmy did their shopping or had dinner at a restaurant! I'm not sure if it was the double package or my children's strong-willed nature, but I could NEVER go out alone with them without it being a complete disaster and ending with two red-faced screamers. I'm sure my anxiety added to theirs, but try as I might outings in the first year were never a calm and enjoyable experience. Having my husband with me only seemed to make it worse - like the time we were so frazzled that we forgot Anna was still in the pram when we were putting into the back of the car! In all fairness she was only about 2.5 kgs at that stage and easily lost in a bundle of blankets.
While I felt like a spinning top pretty much all the time, my husband decided the best way to handle me and the twins was to act like it was the most normal and undemanding experience anyone could have. His favourite response when people asked us how we were coping was: "Oh, it's a walk in the park," - I could have murdered him! He thought we should continue with our lives as before and I, ever keen to act like the laid-back easy-going, "I do this all the time", first time mother of twins, would try to comply. But when I found myself sitting on a rocky, windy outcrop overlooking the surf and trying to breastfeed two at once, it didn't seem as much fun as I had imagined...
But slowly we grew up and realised the best way to handle our situation was to act according to the hand we had been dealt. Unfortunately, especially for surfers, the babies and their routine came first and if we handled it on their terms we had a better chance of enjoying ourselves.
Over time I, like all mothers, have adapted and evolved to accommodate the needs of my children. I very seldom kick against watching another great day of waves go by unsurfed; I happily miss weeks of riding my horse, I never go out in the week anymore and I'm satisfied if I get at least one minute of intimacy with my husband. At the end of the day its what motherhood is about, sacrifice, sacrifice and sacrifice a bit more.
But somehow its worth more than anything else you could wish for, and I think we might even consider another...