Inside Out

This morning I was officially Inside Out.

I’d managed to get Mini Me dressed and fed. Do my own hair and makeup (not always a given these days), answer some new client enquiries, get casually caffeinated and have a smiling child at school drop off.

I was feeling very proud of my calm yet productive morning routine when I realised…

…my dress was inside out!

When the teacher at school told me my dress was inside out, I simply shrugged.

“I guess that sums up my morning’ I said proud of myself for getting a lot of stuff done so early, but knowing I’d also tried to do too much.

Too much?

Yes. Too much to be able to get the basics right.

Irrespective of how many self-help, time-management, efficiency reviews we undertake the baseline comms is always: make a list, prioritise that list and tick things off as you go.

If you work in ‘corporate’ certain dress codes are expected to be maintained. Something, sadly nurtured through business schools the world over and reiterated by the marketplace hellbent on maintaining ‘best practice’ norms.

Yes that’s right gentlemen, you will not be able to present professionally without your 20th century noose, sorry I mean silk tie.

Best practice has meant conditioning ourselves and our peers into roles. Roles for which we are not always best suited for the simple reason that throughout the course of the days, weeks, months and years our ability to ‘do’ ebbs and flows.

This is neither a criticism nor a fact. Merely an observation that ‘life’ kicks through at variant speeds.

Like the seas, we too are impacted by the conditions of the world around us – be it naturally occurring phenomenon or man-made and shrouded in company policy/ community norms.

Irrespective of how many self-help, time-management, efficiency reviews we undertake the baseline comms is always: make a list, prioritise that list and tick things off as you go.

People’s gut response to a quick glimpse at my list is (rightfully) incredulously laughter.

And that pretty much sums up life.

Just when we think we’ve got it together, we realise we’re still toddler-like in our silent struggle to get the basics right.

More often than not, we’re Inside Out and (when brave enough to admit it Upside Down.

Life – at the best of times – is nothing short of crazy.

That’s our fault.

We’ve conditioned ourselves to be these dynamic ‘dooers’ of ‘stuff’ – whether for ourselves or by corporate command.

We actually pride (and dare I say define) ourselves by the stuff we (and others) do.

Dare I say it, but we actually can’t help ourselves and (sub)consciously rate our (and others) success and failure on the ‘stuff’ we ‘do’.

Why is that?


Acknowledging that I was inside out, I was able to take the time to stop and breathe.

This enabled me to laugh (releasing much-needed healing pheromones), centre and refocus my efforts for the day.






Even going to the footy has changed.

Today I took my daughter to her first rugby match.

The annual local ANZAC day derby between Easts and Randwick down at Coogee Oval – the home of the best known Australian club in the rugby world.

I grew up on the sidelines of football fields all over New South Wales, but until today had never realised how dangerous the rugby pitch and surrounds truly is.

  • Kids honing their skills in between the grandstands
  • Smokers puffing away on the hill
  • Swinging shoulder bags; and
  • Snow storms.

Today, I went as a new mum, with my precious bundle of new bub  – well 4 month old).

Determined to maintain some level of fitness, we walked down to Coogee and enjoyed the warmth of the winter sun.

It was only while standing on the sidelines, that we watched the black clouds start rolling in.

Making the conscious decision to get moving before the skies opened, as we started up the hill my husband and I debated whether we had enough time to make it before the rain set in.

We only managed a few 100 metres when the largest drops of rain foretold the story of saturation for all if we continued with our folly.

Needless to say, we made a beeline for our favourite trusty cafe – Tropicana to sit this one out.

Having settled us in, DH (Darling Husband) set off for home to get the car – our only real option unless we wanted to stay overnight at the cafe – in the now blackened skies (despite it being before 5pm) and torrential rain.

An hour and a half later, my husband pulled the car up in front of the cafe with ‘snow’ blanketing the roof.

This was Coogee, not Cortina!

Admittedly, this wasn’t your typical day out to the rugby, but it did highlight some keys ‘must haves’ for going out, for no matter how long.

  1. Things change, so be prepared – we didn’t have an all weather protector for the pram with us. Rendering it useless for all intents and purposes once the weather set in.
  2. Have a plan B and plan C – always. It’s easier in the long run.
  3. Always have $20 for an emergency in the bottom of your pram – you’ll thank yourself for it one day
  4. Surrender to the fact – your schedule is now fluid. It just takes the stress out of everything.
  5. Always have spare formula/food on hand – I was lucky because I was breastfeeding, so that essentially made bub the easiest part of the scenario.
  6. When you go to the local footy game – keep bub in the pram, with the cover up and you’ll reduce your stress by about 1000%! 🙂




Eat, Exercise and Abstain: Introducing the Witches of Woe

Patience is a virtue, but sadly not one of mine when it came to starting a family.

I turned my husband into my dietician and personal trainer, I started picking the brains of doctors, specialists, and sourcing insights from friends and acquaintances.

So I know we are truly blessed we were able to conceive, especially considering we are both in our fabulous forties.

Which is why, like most first time mums, as soon as I realised I was pregnant, I started reading…

Subsequently, my diet continued along the path that would best give my body the ability to concentrate on nourishing our little egg into a healthy bub.

From the research my husband and I conducted, we surmised that rather than fighting to function against preservatives and other hidden hinderances, we would focus on nurturing my body, rather than pursue my diet of habit.

It had to be a ‘we’ effort, as self control and a hungry pregnant woman simply don’t exist – at least not in my world.

Not surprisingly, enter my heart-to-heart with my pesky little mates: Little Miss Gluten and Little Miss Lactose, aka the Witches of Woe.

You see WOW, have proven to be no friends to me at all. Consequently, I have shared a love hate relationship with them both since turning 37 and while I’d like to think their say over all things dietary for me in my forties is due to a misspent youth, sadly I think the truth is decidely more vanilla.

My body – for whatever reason – doesn’t respond warmly to gluten or lactose. Bloat being the main side effect followed by a fogginess that descends on me making even the simplest of tasks a little challenging.

Now what some may call baby brain – and let’s be honest, that little beast is real – the gluten haze as I like to refer to it, is a reality that can be avoided, if you’re willing to forgo the habits of western dining founded in years of poor practice rather than any health science.

Step 1: Rethinking the Weekly Shop

Now before you think this is about to turn into a ‘All hail the Paleo diet’ diatribe to which MKR’s Pete Evans would be proud, rest assured – there’s no room for that kind of crazy in these parts.

More a focus on careful observation of the variant parts contained in the highly processed foods we have learnt to keep as ‘staples’ in our pantries.

As you’d expect, gone from my pantry are the delights: Special K, Nutri Grain, White bread, raisin loaf, Pasta, flour, full cream milk, … you get my drift.

Instead, I have specific variants on the traditional with labels reading gluten free, lactose free and dairy free. So my alternative staples include: soy & linseed bread, rice bubbles, gluten-free pasta and zymil milk – small and simple adjustments to the weekly groceries and nothing too confronting for my tastebuds.

To be honest, I apply the 80:20 rule. If I’m good good 80% of the time, then I can be ‘not so good’ the other 20% 😛

Which sees me enjoying a glass of bubbles now and then.

To Wine or Not to Wine – Everyone has an Opinion

As luck would have it, it was also my body’s choice, that alcohol didn’t pass my lips while I was pregnant.

Believe me, I was as surprised as anyone, that a bubble had lost all of its appeal but I was also a little relieved too.

I’d been lucky enough to have been introduced to FAS through a chat or two with the wonderful Dr Elizabeth Elliot who among other things, conducts research into foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

However, detailed information on drinking while breastfeeding – and by this I mean managing the milk production with safe (alcohol-free) feeding was tricky to come by.

While I downloaded the ‘Feed Safe App’, planning ahead and expressing milk for bottle feeds were my best available solutions.

I can hear some of you screaming judgementally, ‘abstinence is best’ (Yes, Mum!), for those of us who enjoy the odd tipple, it’s a bloody good treat post partum when you’re sick of feeling like Bessie the Cow and you just want to have an hour or so of pure unadulterated ‘me time’.

Selfish right…?

Probably. However, the way I reconcile it in my head is simple:

I eat healthily and exercise regularly (don’t worry, I’m not referring to strenuous gym sessions thrice daily, moreso leisurely walks around the block most days!) as part of my WOW management plan.

I abstain 95% of the time, so I’m entitled to have my 5% of me time now and then 🙂

While bloat is no longer a problem, although fatigue remains. I put that down to bub’s demands rather than an unsavoury byproduct of indulging my pesky little mates: Little Miss Gluten and Little Miss Lactose, aka the Witches of Woe.


If you’d like to find out more information on FAS, start here: Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) – Better Health Channel