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5 reasons why it’s ok to wobble

66fit-wobble-board-exercise-3_1

If you’ve hung around here for a while you’ll know my attitude to wobbling – it’s both normal and quite possibly essential (not just in yoga poses, but in life). You may have seen the video below, hubby ‘taking the micky’ and me laughing at

Imperfect Easters

happy-easter

Sorry to start on a downer, but Easter has rarely been entirely memorable for all the right reasons for me (you know family, relaxing times, friends, good food, just the right amount of good quality chocolate). It’s not that I’ve never had a ‘good’ Easter,

Sweet Sixteen

pregnancy-loss-ribbon

You would have been turning sweet sixteen right about now. Although you may have been a boy, so I wouldn’t be calling you sweet (handsome perhaps, whispered, lest anyone hear). In my dreams I imagined calling you strong, resilient, compassionate, confident – regardless of your

Sometimes you’re so proud

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Sometimes you are so proud….. When your 10 year old daughter, who loves loom bands (like all 10 year old girls) and has a friend who has given her a few to make, says she can wait until her birthday – in three months time

#authentic #awesome #April

authentic and awesome_edited-1

So I couldn’t decide whether April should be all about being authentic or being awesome! And you have to have a hashtag these days! #Awesome sounds kinda great, and #authentic, well it sounds kinda real. Both would be, well, balanced of course! Seriously, I always

Perfect expectations

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Perfection has to be the most impossible of expectations yet I have burdened myself with it. Not, thankfully, in every area of my life, or I might just have sacrificed my sanity. I’m quite Ok with not having the house spotless (or even close), and

Let me count the ways

Maths Balance

Balance often feels elusive, yet there are so many ways we can find it, so many places it can be found if we are prepared to look. I’ve come up with this list – what would you add? Ahh…..Balance The balance between your expectations (of

A morning ritual

yoga-mountain-pose-400

Do you have a morning ritual? I’m not talking a set of expletives F#*!sh#@as*#ho#e that you greet the day with. Or that daily battle with your alarm’s snooze button. Or a s#it scramble, scream and screech to get the kids (and yourself) out the door

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5 reasons why it’s ok to wobble

66fit-wobble-board-exercise-3_1

If you’ve hung around here for a while you’ll know my attitude to wobbling – it’s both normal and quite possibly essential (not just in yoga poses, but in life).

You may have seen the video below, hubby ‘taking the micky’ and me laughing at myself. If not, here’s a quick link and laugh.

YouTube Preview Image

Wobbling can be funny – which I guess is my first reason why it’s Ok – well great actually – it’s good to laugh at yourself.

Here are some other reasons:

1)   Wobbling means you’re trying – I watch my daughter (gracefully) do many and various dance poses, but she isn’t keen on doing them if it means wobbling at all. Of course she wants to be graceful (like a dancer), and strives for perfection (worryingly, like a dancer). She’d rather execute a dance pose quickly and ‘perfectly’ than wobble in it by holding it longer. She hasn’t yet learned the yogi way, but I’m trying to teach her – slowly does it. I’m teaching her that when we wobble we are trying and learning, both prerequisites of ‘perfection’.  And that trying is its own reward – we succeed in trying even when we wobble, and more so because we are prepared to.

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2)   Wobbling makes you stronger – what my daughter doesn’t realize is that by sticking with a pose and wobbling you gain strength (and poise if you’re a dancer). The very act of sticking with something, even though it’s hard, builds strength and character even if you never actually ‘perfect’ the thing you stick at. You are stronger as a person, which means you’ll be stronger for the next thing you try to wobble your way through.

3)   Wobbling shows you care – You’re not going to wobble unless you are trying and you’re not going to try unless you care. Wobbling is an act of courage and sometimes compassion, if you’re wobbling to help someone else. We wobble through things when we are prepared to make an effort, because we want to succeed/make a difference/just manage to balance. And we do so, even though we look kinda silly in the process (see below).

4)   Wobbling shows you don’t care about appearances – wobbling can be, and is very often, embarrassing! My daughter fears embarrassment, so she would rather not do something than wobble through it. But she is learning. And learning not to care about what other people think is one of the greatest lessons in life.

Katelin balance

5)   Wobbling actually IS balance – balance is always found in the space and time between things. Balance is never static. It’s always moving, changing, trying to return things to a kind of equilibrium. Balance is really that unsteady point between ‘success’ and ‘failure’, which is by nature, wobbly. If you didn’t wobble you would be too rigid and unbalanced.

So go wobble!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

Cheers (and PS – Yogi to Yogini update – 3.1kg down – slowly does it – 29 hours of yoga classes, including one 3 hour workshop in six weeks)!

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Imperfect Easters

happy-easter

Sorry to start on a downer, but Easter has rarely been entirely memorable for all the right reasons for me (you know family, relaxing times, friends, good food, just the right amount of good quality chocolate).

It’s not that I’ve never had a ‘good’ Easter, but the memories feel few amidst the mostly ‘bland’ and some downright not-so-good Easters.

We put so much emphasis on Easter – almost as much as we do on Christmas – to be a special time of holiday celebration, and it always feels so necessary as a recharge a few months into the year.

I’ll never forget a heart-broken Easter, when I was dumped by a boyfriend a week or so before, then had to have my Mum accompany me on one hour-plus drive to a job interview a couple of days later, because I was too upset to keep myself together. Needless to say I didn’t get the job.  And Easter wasn’t exactly happy.

There was another Easter, when I was working in media, living in Brisbane and drove the hour or so down to the Gold Coast to meet friends and go to a Jimmy Barnes concert that Easter Saturday night. This was in the days before mobile phones (really showing my age) and I was held up at work, arrived later than I’d hoped, didn’t connect with my friends and had to head to the concert on my own. Fortunately I found some other people I knew, but never managed to find the friends I was supposed to be staying with. Then my bag got stolen, with my wallet and the keys to my car, of course! Fortunately one of the guys I knew stayed with me, walked with me the 5km back to my car because there were no cabs, managed to break into the car, where we tried to get a couple of hours sleep until an emergency locksmith could arrive to cut a new key. Then I had to drive back to Brisbane, dropping into my grandmother’s house for a quick shower (and a sob) before heading into work for Easter Sunday.

Epic. Easter. Fail.

Amongst our nine IVF failures, there were two times when the bad news arrived on the eve of Easter, and celebrating seemed too hard. Easter Fail again.

Between working all or part of Easter myself in the early days, to hubby seemingly working at least part of most Easter breaks since (as a firefighter), we’ve seldom been able to plan camping trips or other short breaks away. This year hubby works Easter Sunday and Monday.

I have a distinct memory that mostly when we did go away for Easter as a kid it rained – not just a little bit, but often torrential (especially when we were camping). At least my memories are mostly soggy ones.

But before I put anymore of a damper on Easter, I should mention some fond memories – last year we managed to get away for two nights camping with my sister and friends and had a lovely time, even if we had a few sprinkles. When we lived in Canada in 2011 we had a cold (and still soggy) spring Easter – lovely new-found friends invited us, and my parents who were visiting, to their family cabin by the lake for an egg hunt and hot dogs over hot coals.

Last Easter

If you (as I do) consider the religious meaning of Easter I reckon it is appropriate for Easter to feel both ‘good’ and ‘bad’.  The death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday is a sorrowful occasion for Christians, the sadness replaced by joy with His resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Easter contains both the sadness and disappointment that is part of life, as well as the hope and joy that we celebrate. The happiness is more profoundly felt because it follows sadness. Death is followed by new life.

So I guess that’s what Easter is for me – a reminder that life isn’t perfect, but it can still be imperfectly wonderful.

Wishing everyone a Happy Easter. Linking up with the lovely Zanni for Sunshine Sundays with the theme ‘Easter’.

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Sweet Sixteen

pregnancy-loss-ribbon

You would have been turning sweet sixteen right about now.

Although you may have been a boy, so I wouldn’t be calling you sweet (handsome perhaps, whispered, lest anyone hear).

In my dreams I imagined calling you strong, resilient, compassionate, confident – regardless of your gender. In my dreams I imagined calling you my child.

I will never know.

You, the very thought of you, makes this woman who would have been your mother feel so old.  So much has happened since.

You were conceived in a test tube on our first IVF cycle – after those failed insemination cycles and all that ‘trying’ (as if you’re not quite sure it’s the sex thing that should do the trick) – with all the hormones, blood tests and injections – it was serious business.

How lucky we thought we were to have ‘success’ the first time around.

Unlike the second, third, fourth, fifth…..ninth times that followed.

I know exactly when you were conceived, a couple of days shy of my 30th birthday. I celebrated sober and nervously.

I went in for the egg ‘pick-up’ (nothing sexy about it – I always called it the ‘eggstraction’).  Hubby went separately into that little room at the clinic for his solo effort.

You started life as one of ten eggs  – three were ‘immature’ and another two didn’t show much interest in being fertilized.

You (when you were still an egg), were injected with your would-be-Dad’s sperm that had to be spun around in some fancy machine to sort out the ‘good ones’ from the ‘baddies’.

We waited. Five eggs fertilized. But only three seemed to want to grow.

And then two days later, on the eve of my birthday, the scientist showed us a photo of you – a three-day old embryo, along with the other two embryos that would accompany you into my uterus (note: much prefer womb).

Or so I thought. You ended up in the wrong place. The other two??

The doctor reassured us he put you safely where you were supposed to go. He was chatty, jovial, as I lay mute and motionless on a theatre bed, legs in stirrups, dressed in that highly-attractive hospital garb, all dignity lost while being probed with a piece of tube resembling spaghetti.

The embryo transfer was over. And so we waited.

We waited, that cruel, cruel wait of approximately 336 hours. In those last 1640 minutes I went to the toilet a staggering 22 times with nerves and nausea.  But I didn’t get an answer.

The first test was inconclusive. Another excruciating wait. 2895 minutes, 173,700 seconds give or take.

And then…..PREGNANT!!!

The sad part is I can’t really recall how great it felt – there’s been too much time, too much heartache since. Ironic that what I remember most is relief.

I know I ignored the sharp pain on my right side a few days after our wonderful news, and prepared for the party we’d planned for my 30th birthday.

I celebrated like I’ve never celebrated, sober on lemonade and like there was a wonderful tomorrow. Only there wasn’t.

The scan was supposed to be this most magical of moments when I saw you up on the screen for the first time – just a dot, or double dots. We didn’t really consider the prospect of triplets.

But there was nothing on that screen – no sign of you – where were you?

She didn’t say anything – she searched the silence for the right words to say in the wrong situation and couldn’t find any. So she said nothing.

When she finally delivered the news with a ‘Sorry’, I felt myself curl up in a sad little sac as if taking a foetal position might transform me back into the warmth and security of my own mother’s womb (not uterus) rather than face the emptiness of my own.

Where were you?

They stuck me away in this little lunch-cum-storeroom, shutting away the sorrow, out of sight and mind, until the doctor was free to see me.  No doubt the consultation room was too busy and the treatment room too sterile for the gush of grief and all the tissues it took to soak it up. We, after hubby rushed to my side, were the failures, safely closeted away from all the hope in the hearts of those sitting, naively, in the waiting room. Only they couldn’t cocoon us from the pain.

It was the worst day of my life.

We waited, 72 more hours, 2160 more minutes or so, until I almost fainted getting to the toilet after a night of pain and tears and no sleep, and decided it was about time I got to the hospital.

The next few hours are a blur, like I was a character in this mawkish melodrama, one of those tragic hospital soapies, in which everything is an emergency, only my ectopic pregnancy was a real emergency, and I was really losing you – not to mention my right tube.

And then I woke up from surgery and you were gone, but I dreamt I heard babies crying in that mixed up time when you are waking up from an anesthetic, only the cries were real because they’d stuck me in the maternity ward. Without a baby. Without you.

It was 13 years later, as I cuddled our Little Yang, stroked his soft, downy head, that I finally realized you aren’t gone, not really. Of course I’ve thought of you often over the years, grieved you, missed you.

But it was only then, that I realized you had been transmuted, somehow, into the life of Little Yang.  Loss into gain. Alchemy, magic.  I cried, sad, happy tears.

Had you been born, sixteen years ago, we might still have adopted our precious Miss Yin (although unlikely), but there is no way we would have waited out the long and painful process to adopt Little Yang if you had been born our child that long time ago.

And as I cradled our Little Yang on the 13th anniversary of what was the worst day of my life, I couldn’t think of anything worse than not having him. Of not having our Miss Yin.

Not even, not having you.

And so now, as I think of you turning sweet (or handsome) sixteen, I see your smile in our little boy and in our not-so-little-anymore girl.

I experience the joy you would have brought us, in the joy they bring us every (well most) days.

I don’t cry, but I do remember.

Linking up for FYBF, With Some Grace.

(PS – I know I am just one of many, many women who experience pregnancy loss. If you are one, I’m thinking of you. And I apologise that many of you have read parts of my infertility story before, thanks for indulging me in remembering).

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Sometimes you’re so proud

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Sometimes you are so proud…..

When your 10 year old daughter, who loves loom bands (like all 10 year old girls) and has a friend who has given her a few to make, says she can wait until her birthday – in three months time – for her friend to give her a kit and bands (as her friend has generously said she will). I was planning to buy her a kit this school holidays. “It’s OK Mum,” she says. “I can wait.”

When you are playing Uno on a Friday night, (after a couple of G&T’s) with said 10 year old and your four year old (who of course has no idea) – and the ten year old doesn’t even really care that her brother has no idea, and the four year old, with a bit of help from you, manages to win, like REALLY – and we all laugh about it. I’m proud of myself for playing (when I didn’t really feel like it on a Friday night). I’m proud of my daughter for tolerating her brother. I’m proud of my boy for winning, somehow!

When the four year old pulls off these little ‘diamonte’ stickers that the ten year old has formed into a love heart on your wallet, and the 10 year old does’t re-act (much) and the four year old feels a bit bad and turns the diamonte stickers into a rainbow design on your wallet. ‘Look Mum, Rainbow.”

Then the ten year old makes them into a love heart again and says, “I love you Mum”.

When the four year old, who was demanding your attention (earlier in the evening) calms down and listens when you tell him that Mummy is in the middle of making a (small) donation to help some poor people and he just has to wait, and he says ‘OK Mum’. And he asks about the poor people, and worries that they are sad. And you say ‘They might not be sad, but they are poor and they just need some help’. And he says he doesn’t want them to be sad or poor. And he waits while you do the online transaction and still he asks, concerned, ‘Are the poor people sad?’

That pride, pretty good heh!

When was the last time you were really proud of your kids (or yourself)?

What makes you the proudest parent around?

Come on, boast!!

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

Cheers

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PS – Just a bit proud of myself as one of my kid’s meditation videos seems to now be the No 1 Google search result when you google ‘kid’s meditation videos’ or ‘children’s meditation videos’. Almost 15,000 views for the videos. Love you to check out the latest one, and watch the end for ‘bloopers’.

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#authentic #awesome #April

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So I couldn’t decide whether April should be all about being authentic or being awesome! And you have to have a hashtag these days!

#Awesome sounds kinda great, and #authentic, well it sounds kinda real.

Both would be, well, balanced of course!

Seriously, I always try to be authentic, and I’d rather be considered authentic any day than awesome. Both would be bloody fantastic.

I don’t think you can be awesome without being authentic, otherwise you’re just faking it and your awesomeness will be revealed for the fraud it is.

Authenticity is where it starts and finishes.

So how to be more #authentic?

By being vulnerable. By showing all the ways in which you aren’t so #awesome. By acknowledging the (many) ways in which you are the awesomesauce!

#confused?

Sorry.

In April, I’m not going to fool myself (get it, this is posted on April Fool’s Day) or anyone else into thinking I’ve got all these awesome answers.

I don’t.

I have a few theories, some hard-earned lessons, some shameful mistakes that make me think I have something to offer on this awesomely authentic life journey.

That’s it.

And while I always try to be authentic, I could be more vulnerable, all of us probably could. Vulnerable is good for the soul.

I’ve written a few posts in the past where I’ve owned my flaws – the yelling, the guilt, the excuses.

This new post lays raw my insecurities about being an Adoptive Mum and the debt I feel I owe.

But in the interests of keeping my vulnerability to a word limit, here’s my list of the top (or should that be worst) five ways I’m not so awesome.

  • I let fear stop me, too much of the time
  • I’m jealous of other’s success (I have like/comment/idea envy) and I care far too much about what people think of me (when they aren’t thinking much at all about me – I care about that too!)
  • Too often I’d rather sneak a few hours on my own writing etc than spend it with my kids – how bad is that?
  • I wallow in self-pity (you know the whole infertility sucked and robbed me of so many years of my life, blah, blah – just get over it!)
  • I wallow in feeling ‘not good enough’ – ENOUGH already!

And this is the really hard part, the top five ways in which I may actually be slightly #AWESOME.

  • I’m a really caring person – for the most part I want to help people, even when I get jealous
  • I think positively about people – I guess I make myself vulnerable to being hurt in this way, but I’d rather see the good – I reckon this is a strength
  • I’m resilient – I know this because I’ve been through s#it, survived and grown through it
  • I’m creative – ideas are going gang-busters in my head and they are often soul-inspired (execution needs work)
  • I’m hard-working – I don’t mind putting in the hard yards to get things done and I can be tenacious

I reckon you make yourself much more vulnerable by acknowledging your awesomeness than you do in admitting your weaknesses. But you also show yourself to be genuinely authentic when you do so.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

Marianne Williamson

So that’s my challenge to you for April  – be authentically awesome – be vulnerable with admitting your weaknesses and vulnerable in acknowledging your strengths.

And I promise authenticity, vulnerability and hopefully a bit of awesomeness thrown in for the next month at least.

What ways are you awesome – come on you can do it (comment below)?

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

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Perfect expectations

Book cover mock_edited-5

Perfection has to be the most impossible of expectations yet I have burdened myself with it.

Not, thankfully, in every area of my life, or I might just have sacrificed my sanity.

I’m quite Ok with not having the house spotless (or even close), and with being on the lax side of the grooming (although not hygiene) department. In any number of ways I content myself with less than perfect, which is just as well, as I fall far short of it.

But when it comes to being a mother, I have a debt of gratitude to repay.

And the price demanded is nothing less than perfection.

Whilst the rational side of me knows that perfection is intangible, the emotional side of me feels the tug of expectation coming from an invisible red thread stretching all the way to China. Pulling on my heartstrings. Keeping me in awe at how much I’ve been given.

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, across time, place and circumstance. The thread my stretch or tangle, but will never break.”                                                 ANCIENT CHINESE PROVERB
Our two kids_edited-2

My children’s birth parents don’t demand perfection from me – I will never know what they hoped for, sadly I will never know them.

As a mother I can only imagine my children’s mothers wanted the best for them. And that’s what I try to give their kids, our kids – yet it is not enough.

It’s me who feels I owe so much for the privilege of parenting ‘someone else’s children’.

After all, the gift of our two kids is priceless – who am I to complain about the bargain?

I wasn’t the one who lost, but the one who gained.

And yet this business of parenting is hard. There’s no rulebook, no instruction manual. Being perfect is hard. Being perfect is impossible.

So I suffer (along with most mothers I know) the scourge of mother-guilt – only my guilt is magnified because of how much I owe. Can’t you see how much I have to repay?

The only way to get over the guilt is to be perfect – that’s the answer – only this parenting thing is hard, and the hardest part of all is that it may not be what (or everything) I imagined it would be.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s still wonderful (well most of the time), but it’s just not as fulfilling as I dreamed it would be through those long years of infertility, and waiting out the adoption process when it was all I could dream of.

I may actually want more! Only how could that possibly be?

What the hell is wrong with me?

The right answer might be ‘nothing’ but it’s hard, impossible for me to see that.

So instead I feel even MORE GUILTY, and the only antidote to so much guilt is to atone for all the loss, all the pain by being PERFECT.

You see the pattern!

The expectation of perfection feels like my penance, and I know perfection is unrealistic, and I know it doesn’t make sense, and I know I’m allowed to want other things, and I know it’s Ok to just do my best, be my best.

It’s just not how I feel.

Linking up with Always Josefa for ‘Conversations with Expectation’ and the lovely Grace for FYBF and joining the Digital Parents April Blog-Carnival!






Let me count the ways

Maths Balance

Balance often feels elusive, yet there are so many ways we can find it, so many places it can be found if we are prepared to look. I’ve come up with this list – what would you add?

Ahh…..Balance

The balance between your expectations (of yourself) and the reality

The balance between your expectations (of others) and the reality

The balance between your dreams (of how things would be) and the reality

The balance between fast and slow

Life is a balance beween blooming and fading_edited-6

Read more

A morning ritual

yoga-mountain-pose-400

Do you have a morning ritual?

I’m not talking a set of expletives F#*!sh#@as*#ho#e that you greet the day with. Or that daily battle with your alarm’s snooze button. Or a s#it scramble, scream and screech to get the kids (and yourself) out the door to school, daycare etc.

Of course I’m talking about a morning ritual that gets you set for the day…..the kinda day you actually want to have. Read more

Time for a cold shower – what do you REALLY want?

Alas I do not look like this naked

So I’ve come to the conclusion that the majority of people (well a fair few) who find me here at yinyangmother do so completely by accident when looking for someone (or something) entirely different.

Mostly they come here when looking for a woman in the shower (not me, I’m fairly sure they wouldn’t be thrilled to see me in the shower). This is all down to this post I wrote. Read more

The chat and the whinge

little yang flower

Butter wouldn’t melt right!

That face – this adorable face – you’ve probably seen it many times but hey, it sucks you in doesn’t it?

spotty Liam

And lately the chats do too – little snatches on the way here and there, sometimes full-on conversations. They take me to places of sheer joy as I marvel at a four-year-old’s unique perspective on the world, as I swell with pride at his unexpected insights, as I laugh at what he says and the funny ways he says it. Read more

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