Family grievances.

Over the weekend, I had a massive fight with my family. My parents, my brother and my sister, all had something to tell me about myself that they didn’t like. It was as if, because one had started, that they felt it was okay for them to all pile it on.

Their list of grievances were:

  • I say things without thinking, and don’t even realise I have upset them. They said it was like I hit them with a semi-trailer and then just kept driving. Apparently its not all the time, once every few months or so, but it still hurts.
  • When we moved 25 minutes north of them to be closer to work and university, I isolated myself from them. My mother has never forgiven me for this. It has been 3 years, and she still hates it. My isolation has then:
    • Made my 15 year old sister feel like we have grown apart
    • Made me disconnect from my family, because I only go back to their house once a month
    • And to the above point, lose touch with who my family are so I don’t understand when I have hurt them with something I have said.

I could go on with a long list of reasons for justifying myself, a list of all the things they have done to wrong me. But those are just excuses. I don’t want to sink to their level, and point out all of their flaws, to justify my horribleness.

All I have done is alternate between crying, being angry and trying not to think about it. I am sick to my stomach. All I was trying to do, was be true to myself. To make my own happiness. But apparently all I have done is make them upset with me.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know if I can get over this. I don’t know if I want to get over this. I don’t know if I want to ever see them again. This was too much for me right now.

I am damaged and I feel broken on the inside.

Always & forever,

Mrs T xxx

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Spoiler Alert – Gender revealed inside!

Last weekend, we invited our closest family and friends over to find out the gender of our baby. Now, I am the sort of person who 1. does not want to step on other people’s toes and 2. likes to do things in my own unique way. This is what led to my method of gender reveal.

Several months ago (July I think), we went to our friends gender reveal. Their reveal moment was the cutting of a cake, with the inside of the cake being the ‘colour’ of the gender, so pink for a girl, blue for a boy (it was pink). She is also the kind of person who would have gone on through life thinking that I had copied her, if I had of used the cake method. Toes would have been crushed, and I would have been the worst friend ever.

Another set of friends, released balloons from a box during a photo shoot and then posted the photos onto social media (they were blue). I really liked this idea, but I wanted to do something of my own.

So since deciding that we were going to find out, I have been thinking about ideas to make things come out of things in a symbolic manner to represent the gender of my baby. Then one day it just came to me. We are going to pop a giant balloon, and tiny little balloons are going to come out!!

I rang around to balloon companies in my area, and found one that totally understood what I was looking for. They ordered in a special, giant black balloon, that had zero transparency (even when getting the sun to shine on it, we tried!), and then waited for us to come around with a little piece of paper so they could fill it for us.

Directly after our ultrasound, we went straight to the balloon place, and gave them the folded up post-it note, which the balloon artist read, folded back up and gave to me. I then had to carry this little, folded up, begging-me-to-open, piece of paper for the next three hours. I would have periods of time were I would totally forget I had it because I was so busy with last minute organisations, and then go, Oh the paper is in my bag! and then look like a crazy person in the shopping center who can’t decide what they are doing. Every time making the right decision not to sneak a peak.

We get home, do all the last minute tidying and food prep. Family arrive half an hour early to help (really to make me pop the balloon early), and issue threats like, if your friends aren’t here on time we are popping the balloon, too bad for them! Like it’s their decision when we popped the balloon. Anyways…

Just before we popped the balloon, we let everyone have a guess at the gender to drum up some excitement. And then we did it, we popped the balloon!

Baby-Gender-Balloons

We are very excited! I can’t wait for the little guy to arrive. Hubby is getting his little soccer/football/basketball/golf player. Only 19 more weeks to go!!

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx

Maternity Leave – You’re coming back when?!

This week I put in my application for maternity leave from work. I have always been a career driven person, but most people would describe me as caring and nurturing (pats self on back). So when people find out how much time I am taking off after the birth of the baby, the reactions are quite interesting.

In Australia, the government offers the primary carer of a newborn approximately 18 weeks of pay, at minimum wage. Pretty great right? Most businesses take advantage of this offer, and do not offer a corporate maternity package. I work for a non-profit, which definitely utilises the government’s offer. Also, in Australia, businesses must hold the primary carers position for them for 12 months. Now you might be thinking, but there are 52 weeks in a year, what does that mean for the 34 remaining weeks of the 12 months?

You go without pay. If you have a partner, you are down to one salary with an extra mouth to feed and all the extra baby things. If you do not have a partner, you are up the creek without a paddle, unless you have a fairy godmother.

So, you decide that you will go back to work after the 18 weeks, and if you have timed it all correctly and the labor fairy was in time with your timeline, then you have gotten to spend a wonderful 4 months with your newborn before you ship the child off to relatives, family or childcare. Queue the sounds of mothers whipping themselves for leaving their children so young.

This is the position I am in. Hubby and I worked out several different budgets to see if we could extend my time off, even if it meant one salary for a few months. We found a couple of options which would leave us very tight financially, but do-able. However due to the timing of the birth, it will mean we only have one salary over Christmas, which is not ideal when we have 3 sets of parents between us, a brother, sisters, a niece, and all the brand new offspring of all of our friends.

I then spoke to someone at work, who I look up to, and she told me that at the time of her maternity leave, she was in the same position as us. They simply couldn’t afford it. So she came back full time after the 18 weeks, and seriously regretted it. She made comments of “just two more weeks and it would have been easier” and “easing myself back in with part time work”. I listened to these comments and took them to heart.

Hubby really wants me to stay off until the end of January and then go back full time. However, after talking to even more return-to-work mothers, whether they are 4 months, 6 months, or 12 months, it is HARD to leave them. So, after some soul searching I have decided to go back to work after the 18 weeks, part time until Christmas and then full time again in the New Year.

For the past few weeks, people have been asking me about my plans for maternity leave, and when I told them, the majority of people were shocked, some even horrified. “You can’t leave your baby!” or “It will be so small, who is going to look after it?”, and various other ‘bad-mother’ hidden comments. At first I was a bit worried, but then I started telling myself that I am doing the right thing for my family, but ensuring that we have two salaries to utilise. I am ensuring that I do not suffer extreme regret by easing myself back into work, and ultimately looking after my mental and emotional health.

For me and my family, this may not be the best decision, but I feel it is the right decision for us.

Always & Forever,

Mrs T xxx