Mason is one! Where has that year gone?

Mason has just turned one and I can’t believe how quickly the past year has flown

I have written before on the delights of becoming a grandmother and how it was like falling in love again. See posts New love and More new love. The family is growing and roles are shifting. I am honoured to watch my children morph into adults parents aunts and uncles.

I seem to move a little slower now. While the parents of the babies run around parenting I can drift along and smell the roses, build the sandcastles and hunt for ladybugs with the little ones.

The past year does seem to have flown by but on the other hand so much has happened. The babies have grown into toddlers, my career move back to Midwifery has been a happy one, trips have been taken, gardens grown and quilts sewn.

The birth of my grand babies are the most wonderful of life memories etched forever in my heart but now there are new chapters to enjoy such as first steps, learning to speak, family holidays and birthdays.

 

Turning one is a big deal.

I am not sure Mason will remember his first birthday party but the family sure will. There were cousins and friends, balloons and bubbles, a pinata and presents and of course cake! Oh the cake.

Barely a grain of sugar has crossed my grandchildren’s lips and for this they are blessed. Mason had his first taste of cake on his birthday and it was quite the hit!

Masons cake

White Ribbon Day – Have you taken the oath?

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society

White Ribbon Day

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day

What is violence against women?

The official definition is of violence against women is:

‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’

Wind back to 2004….

I was out shopping and the second text came “Can you get the paper?” The first I had received just 15 minutes after leaving home as he reminded me that he loved me. Oh,how sweet. Half an hour later he called. “Where are you now?”I sighed and reassured him that I was still at the supermarket, yes I had received his text, yes I loved him too.Seriously, I thought to myself. Give me some space.

Interestingly, at the time I was working as a midwife. A frequent part of my role was, recognising and responding to domestic violence.

And yet I missed the early signs myself.

One day before I went into town he was cuddling me in the kitchen, lifted my skirt and asked “What colour knickers are you wearing?” It seemed like harmless fun until I learnt that when I got home he checked that I was still wearing the same pair. “Just want to check your being faithful” What The Actual Fuck!

I was talking to a counsellor about another issue with one of the children and with her wisdom and experience she picked up on something I said and her questions shifted to asking me about this man’s behaviour towards me.

I had tried to make the session quick as He was waiting out in the car ( Oh god , is that not a red flag in itself!!) She gently but directly got to her point. “You are in an abusive relationship. This is controlling behaviour”

Femidist Lightbulb Whit RibbonA light bulb went off. I stared at her with a mixture of shock and relief. The vibration within me was my soul calling out which had known all along that something was up.

She told me “You know women take several attempts to leave. Generally they come and go about 5 times before they leave the  relationship.” I grinned at her and said “Can I walk in and out of your office 5 times right now? I am done”…… and I was.

 

What I learnt from this relationship was how socially ingrained patterns of male control over women are and now I can spot it a mile off.

The impact of this violence on women can be physical, sexual and psychological. For me, the low level verbal and social control I experienced made me hyper vigilant in predicting his needs, protecting the children from being yelled at by covering for them. I avoided social situations because his comments were embarrass.

Tragically violence against women can also result in death: women die from the negative health effects of violence and some are killed.

Violence against women affects women’s well-being and prevents them from fully participating in society. It also impacts on families, the community and the nation. As I wrote earlier this week, I see the negative consequences of domestic violence in my work as a midwife DAILY.

But what about violence against men?

Sigh . Really? This is actually a whole other post.

Of course men’s violence against women is not the only form of violence. I know violence is experienced by both men and women. All forms of violence are unacceptable.

The White Ribbon Campaign focuses on women because the majority of domestic violence victims in Australia are women, and this is most likely to be perpetrated by a man.

Violence prevention campaigns need a central focus to be successful in their mission and the White Ribbon campaign does focus on violence perpetrated against women

White Ribbon Australia engages men to highlight the positive role men can play to stop domestic violence and other forms of men’s violence against women. White Ribbon Australia tailors messaging and tools to achieve this mission

The impact of violence against women

Violence against women and their children takes a profound and long-term toll on women and children’s health and well being, on families and communities, and on society as a whole.

Intimate partner violence contributes to more death, disability and illness in women aged 15 to 44 than any other preventable risk factor.

Domestic or family violence against women is the single largest driver of homelessness for women, a common factor in child protection notifications, and results in a police call-out on average once every two minutes across the country.

Have you taken the oath?

There is something you ca do right now to contribute to the White Ribbon Campaign. You can take the oath that you will work towards the end of violence against women here

https://www.whiteribbon.org.au/stop-violence-against-women/take-the-oath/

Family Violence by Femidist
Links and references

White Ribbon

Our Watch

I’m quitting sugar: Week 3- Foregoing Fructose is not Fun

… when we’re not consuming large amounts of fructose our appetite hormones recalibrate.

Quitting Sugar: Week 3. Fructose

Today marks the end of week three of my formal journey to quit sugar following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar (IQS) program. This has without a doubt been the hardest week of all so far. Continue reading “I’m quitting sugar: Week 3- Foregoing Fructose is not Fun”

Protective Behaviours Australia: A personal safety program

Protective Behaviours can be used by children, young people and adults to help keep themselves safe and work towards reducing violence in the community.

 Protective Behaviours Australia

Anyone who follows me on facebook will have noticed me posting links from Protective Behaviours Australia,  a personal safety program education and empowering people to be safe in our community.

Violence against women and children is a topic close to me heart and soul and I make no apologies for my zealous contribution to making society safer for women and children.

I love the posts by Protective Behaviours Australia and will continue to share them. Here is a bit about the organisation.

Protective Behaviours Mission

… is to reduce the incidence of abuse and violence in the community through empowerment and education.

The two Central Themes of Protective Behaviours are:

Protective Behaviours

 

 

Safety

Safety, in the context of Protective Behaviours, identifies how a person feels when they are safe and how they recognise that safety. This skill is important as it enables a person to identify when they may be feeling unsafe. Safety is defined by the individual.

Protective Behaviours

Want More?

Check out the PBA website here.

Protective Behaviour state by state

Protective Behaviours News and Events

 

Reason number 8 to homebirth: Your other children can be present

Birthing at home means you are in the control seat and it is your decision who shall and who shall not be present

Reason number 8 to homebirth: your other children can be present.

Why on earth would you want children at a birth? Continue reading “Reason number 8 to homebirth: Your other children can be present”

Being a grandparent. Falling in love again.

All the fun without the daily responsibility.

The blessing of being a grandparent.

Something magical happens when parents turn into grandparents. I would say becoming a grandparent has been like falling in love again. Continue reading “Being a grandparent. Falling in love again.”

Our family Murray River houseboat holiday. AKA Stacey is 30!

The houseboat was stunning. We expected the equivalent to a floating caravan but got so much more.

Our family houseboat holiday on the Murray River.

I have been offline for a week because we have just had a houseboat adventure and I took a week off writing. Continue reading “Our family Murray River houseboat holiday. AKA Stacey is 30!”

Quitting: How I feel 2 weeks later

When we are stuffed up our emotional stuff is coming up.

2 weeks have passed since I decided to quit my job

I described the decision back then as an elite form of self care and that has proven truer each and every day. My mental health has returned to almost normal, whatever the hell that is. Let’s just say I am back to my baseline and the effect was rapid. Continue reading “Quitting: How I feel 2 weeks later”