I’m sorry, my poor neglected blog

Please forgive me? I HAVE PHOTOS!

I’ve not blogged for a while. I’ve been a busy little bumblebee actually.

You see, I chose to take on an internship as part of my degree. I had considered it, but the logistics of juggling work plus three kids and uni seemed too difficult. I quite lazily put it in the “too hard basket” and forgot about it for a while.

But then I saw the advertisement

It was for a very big company that handles various magazines, newspapers, online publications and websites. It seemed too good to be true. I thought to myself that the chances of me getting something that so many others would be wanting at the same time were pretty slim. So I bypassed my uni’s”how to” instructions on resume building and threw something together at the eleventh hour.

My previous job with a workplace bully

My job before was in financial services. I worked in the same office as a monster, who was related (by marriage) to the wonderful business owner that hired me four times over the years since I had finished high school. This monster brought me down so low that I left and never returned when I suffered a miscarriage. That whole pregnancy was spent crying into my pillow until the wee hours of the morning, waking up and going to work a few hours later and feeling so beat down and useless that I lost my appetite and just wanted to cry again. I was sick with the flu and various other ailments. It really took its toll on my health. So I quit work and became a full-time student. That was it. Massive life-changing decisions in an instant.

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In a study room at uni with Miss 2. She loves watching Peppa Pig on the big screen!

Everything hit me again when I got the call for an interview

So everything was going really well for me. I’d managed to heal but I vowed to never forget the life that had been delayed. I was fortunate enough to get my baby girl almost a year to the day I miscarried. I wanted to raise awareness and normalise miscarriage and infant loss to make others feel like they were less alone. To remind other women going through similar that yes, it IS a horrible thing, but they are not alone.

When I got called for an interview for the internship, it all came rushing back. I didn’t want to go back into a corporate environment. I’d always had a thick skin but just couldn’t shake those feelings of being useless and incompetent. I knew in my head that I wasn’t, but after being belittled, abused, and beaten down for so many months, it’s a hard thing to forget.

I wouldn’t get it anyway

I told myself that I wouldn’t get the internship anyway. I had applied for a casual role several months earlier and froze when the interviewer asked me a question. I knew I had no chance at getting this one, so thought I may as well use it as a practice run. I bought a new navy slip dress, dusted off my pink heels, donned a black clutch (it was that or a nappy bag!), and in I went.

I sat down, looked at the interview panel and told them I was so nervous. I pointed out that my hands were sweating, I’d been a mum and student for so many years I’d forgotten how to talk to people without stuttering. I smiled and asked them to please be nice. And from that moment, I was back. They were so lovely and encouraging that all the tension and apprehension melted away. I sat there, pitched a story, answered questions, even cracked a few jokes. When the interview was over, they mentioned that I was among the first interviewed. I asked them to please not forget me and they all chuckled. One even added “We definitely won’t forget you”. And that was it. All the anxiety and negative feelings about myself and my abilities fell from my shoulders, bounced off my awkward black clutch, and onto the floor in front of me. I even stepped on them as I walked out of the boardroom with my head held high. They were dead forever.

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Me with Mr 8 and Mr 6. Walking in the rain – one of my favourite things to do.

So here I am

Here I am now. I’ve written several blog posts over the last few months, but before I upload them, I email them to my editor. I ask her if she can use them, and she always does.

Did you catch that?

I said “my editor”. It’s really exciting. From this mum of three (plus one angel), who turned a loss into a life-changer. I no longer have to work in financial services because that is what I know like the back of my hand. I get to write. It’s only a casual job and that is completely fine with me, because I’m still studying. I’m due to graduate in January and rather than feeling sick at the thought of returning to work, and looking for reasons to continue studying, I’m looking forward to possibly working some more. I never expected those feelings.

To those who have followed along, my study load has now greatly reduced for my last semester, so I’m hoping to blog regularly again. But thank you for sticking around. And thank you for following me in the first place. I always wanted this blog to be completely anonymous, but I’m not so sure I still want that. If I want to bring awareness to those things that people don’t often talk about, then I need to have a name to my voice. So here I am, in the form of a few pictures. It’s lovely to ‘meet’ you. 😉

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On a recent road trip to Dubbo Zoo. Mr 8 got car sick, Miss 2 slept for most of it, and Mr 6 rambled the whole way there. (Note: I was obviously NOT driving when I took this pic).

Claire. x

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Love and Laughter

My husband rocks. No, really. I’ve not been hacked, it’s still me and he honestly rocks!

I was thinking today of all the times he’s made me wet my pants over the years. Sometimes it’s been begrudgingly on my part. You know when someone is being so cheeky that you try to keep a straight face, but inside you’re just bursting to cry with laughter? There have been many times where I’ve tried to be angry at him but it very rarely works. He just makes me laugh.

First, there is the “car-waft”. When we were first dating and we’d pull up to traffic lights in the car, he would promptly wind down his window while fanning his face and pointing at me. If the car was close enough, he’d even tell them “Awwwww she farted!” No matter how many times you’d shake your head and deny it, you could tell by the look in their eyes that these people do not believe you. After all, even if you DID do it, you’d still be denying it.

Next is the “salad sandwich”. My husband is Lebanese and I am English. His family and friends are the most welcoming and hospitable people I have ever met. If you shiver, they will try to force you to take the jumper off their shoulders. They often show their love through food, and much of their lives revolve around sumptuous feasts. Even to this day, when we pull out the barbecue to cook the kids a few sausages for dinner, my in-laws start asking who we’re inviting to the “barbecue”. And it’s said like you’d say “wedding” or “christening”. Anyway, whenever we would visit his friends who still lived at home (and even his parents in the early days), they would always offer us food. I’d politely shake my head and say “No thank you” and hubby would say “She was just saying she wants a salad sandwich”. The lady of the house would always without fail, excitedly reply with “You want a salad sandwich? I make for you!” I’d then smile and explain that no, we had eaten on our way over, then he would lean forward and say “She’s shy, she’s going to tell you she doesn’t want one, but she really does”. This would then result in AT LEAST twenty minutes of “Are you sure?” and “I’m happy to make one for you” while hubby would sit opposite me snickering at my discomfort.

Another one he’s got me with over the years is the “shopping list edit”. Imagine this: You’re heading out to the local supermarket with several items on your list. You have a toddler who sits in the trolley scribbling on the shopping list, and then you bump into someone you know. You’re stood there chatting away and they look down at the note pad with the shopping list and scribbles and you realise hubby has added a special item which won’t be found in the medication aisle next to the condoms. Your list now looks like this:

* Bread

* Milk

* D**k suck

* Baked Beans

* Yoghurt…

You’re smiling at the person in front of you while they look down at the notepad encouraging your toddler to keep drawing. The only thing you can do is start jolting the shopping trolley from side to side in the hope that their eyes can’t focus enough to make out the new addition to your shopping list. – Not. Cool. (My son’s neck is getting better by the day, I promise).

I’m sure there are more, but I’ll leave you with those gems for now. And it has to be said: Sorry ladies, he’s taken! 😛

A GRATEFUL POST

Since posting the story about my miscarriage, I’ve had a read through some other experiences which have floated across my WordPress app and I feel the overwhelming urge to do a grateful post. What happened to me is nothing compared to what many people face every day. Infertility plagues approximately 15% of Australian couples of reproductive age. I am so lucky not to ever have tried to conceive for more than six months straight. I found it hard enough to deal with symptom-spotting and peeing on sticks waiting for a line to come then imagining lines when they’re not there, etc for a measly six months. I found it mentally draining and I really had nothing on the many people who go through this for months and even years. Kudos to those who are still chasing their dreams of conceiving after extended periods of disappointment. You must possess such a strength to keep fighting and I am in awe of you.

There are also major life-threatening issues like congenital heart disease which gives a set of loving parents their dream, only to yank it back in such a cruel way you wonder how they could possibly get through it. I’m not sure if I could have said goodbye to one of my babies shortly after they were born. I struggle even imagining it.

So anyway, don’t let me get sidetracked. I am so super grateful for my three healthy kids. Having children is a blessing, not a right. I am so blessed to have been chosen as their mother. Through sleepless nights, sore nipples, the unrelenting screams through “witching hour”, and countless spew-adorned early morning school runs, I am always grateful.

I am grateful for my angel baby who grew wings last year when I was thirteen weeks pregnant, because without her, we would not have our little ten week old princess now. Our third child was always going to be our last, so if last year’s pregnancy had gone full-term we wouldn’t have Miss O. I couldn’t imagine a world without her now. She has given me perspective and understanding while making me truly appreciate everyone around me.

I am also hugely grateful for my husband. Above all, he is my perfect partner. When we’ve thought our love could not grow any more, it has. We’ve been married for almost eleven years and they have been the best years of my life by far. I like to think we have so much love for our children as they were born from the love we have for each other. He takes such good care of us and works hard to feed our three children, myself and also help out his parents. I’m grateful for his patience and understanding when I decided last year that I couldn’t face my workplace any longer and started to pursue a university degree. I wake up every morning and smile because I get to do what makes me happy (even when there’s a poosplosion and subsequent nappy leak) with those that mean the most to me, all day, every day.

I am blessed. I truly am.