Let Me Be Your Daddy Blog

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset

My husband was actively involved in my pregnancy (up to a point of course, and then the eating of donuts/carrying of child/aches and pains were all mine), and was also involved in the planning of said pregnancy. And now that we have August, we co-parent as much as possible. Sound too good to be true? The fact that to many people, it does, is the issue here. There are heaps of great Dads that are taking an equal share of raising a child, but do we hear about it (apart from when it’s reported in wonderment)? Nope.

Throughout my pregnancy and now as a Mother (always with a capital for marketing purposes), I have at my fingertips an overwhelming amount of information, mostly in the form of Mummy blogs, ranging from the inspirational to the contrived. Some I felt resonated with me, but others were eons away from my way of thinking. But that’s cool – I have a heap to choose from. From the very beginning of this crazy child-rearing adventure, I was learning and absorbing. But I soon realised that my partner hadn’t been worded up on this stuff, nor had he even been invited to the party.

See, he’s a Dad. And therefore, he’s struggled to find a blog for this role. He wanted to be able to connect and share this new experience with other like-minded Dads, preferably in the same country. But it appears that the Daddy Blog is a rare beast. When he did find a ‘group’, the promise of beer, sport or food was apparently necessary to grab and keep a male’s attention, and often overshadowed the main purpose of the group. He was dismayed, and I can’t help feeling that this is hugely patronizing to those men wanting to connect with other fathers, and this certainly didn’t fly at our house.

Why do we do this? I don’t want to downplay the value of the parenting blog or forum, in whatever format it works for you – but it appears as though women have staked a claim in this area, with an almost righteous attitude about it. There are clubs, awards, societies, and everything in between for mothering blogs – in the Kidspot Voices of 2014, the parenting blogs in the Top 100 are all by women, with various forms of the word “mum” in the titles.

The reality is, women are continuing the vicious circle of parenting roles by keeping men out of the loop, and I’ve found that the assumption is continually made that if something needs to be researched or checked in regards to our son, all eyes on me. Why do I need to be the one to Google, call or ask – that’s a BIG responsibility dude. Ask my husband. Get his signature on August’s immunisation form. Have him sign the boy up to a daycare waiting list. His handwriting is much nicer than mine.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that just because a women is writing a blog about parenting, there isn’t a place for that. We have bits that men don’t, and these bring with them a whole range of fun stuff to LOL about (or FML about). But there should exist a more shared experience, where the joys, trials, and hilariously confusing aspects of having a child can be discussed by everyone involved. And this, in turn, will go towards both parents taking on a more equal responsibility.We know of a couple of great fathering blogs, like this one, and we love people like Brian – but we hope ours will also become somewhere for everyone to go and laugh at ourselves and our kids equally.

Spread the love peeps.







FFS Friday: When Your 9 Week Old Has Better Hair Than You


Volume? Check. Colour? Check. Silky Smooth To The Touch? Check. Natural Hipster Coiff? Yeah, another Check.

Anyone who has had a baby, or, in fact, has ever just carried one around in public will know that you instantly become the invisible man/woman behind the infant. A prop that has the sole purpose of bringing this babe to the masses. And I’m totally cool with that. Ya gotta give the public what they want.

But when your baby starts to pull admiration for his tresses, in particular after you’ve hit the salon for a long over due ‘do’, it’s time to accept the fact that no matter what you do, what you wear or indeed whether you’re wearing anything at all – this kid will be the king of the focus-pull.

Don’t take it personally. I mean, you made the kid, so bask in the baby-love and remember this: many hilarious hairdos are at your fingertips for future birthday embarrassment. Small victories.

Birth Plans vs Birth Ideals: Knowing What You Want, With The Knowledge That Your Captain is a Newborn


I love to learn new things. Anything really. Ranging from the completely superfluous skill (writing backwards and mirrored, faux tap) to something that I can utilise every day (tech stuff, mediation, faux tap). So naturally, when presented with the completely new world of pregnancy and an impending labour, I did my research. To me, knowledge is comforting, it makes me feel in control and worded up in an often unknown landscape.

Look, I didn’t overdo things (no magazines, a few great books and I may have stalked a bogan baby online forum), but I asked a lot of questions and read-up on what spoke to us heading into this new adventure. My husband Adam and I had strong ideas about giving the natural labour sans pain relief a go, and as our hospital offered a water-birth and I am a lover of all bodies of water – that had me at hello.

A Birth Plan was talked about from the very beginning, and it was around the time we were writing it up that I realised that a plan was all what it was. And we know what happens to the best laid plans. What I’d be taking into that birthing suite was a plan of attack, and during my pregnancy I’d read about and met people who were taking in Birth Ideals. This is about as pointless as writing a business plan and incorporating daily flowers in the foyer as part of your indicators of success.

One of our main points in the Birth Plan was (in addition to a water birth, as little intervention as possible and a big bouncy ball) was “get baby out safely”.  I know enough women who have given birth to understand the absolute luck of the draw when it comes to following a Birth Plan. This is where knowledge comes into play for me. I knew exactly what I wanted to when it came to a birth ideal, but when it came to the plan, I also found out what my options were should the baby take the decisions out of my hands and throw some us some curve balls. What would happen “if”? And knowing all of this didn’t scare me; if anything I felt it further equipped me to approach the labour with confidence and positivity.

In one of our birthing and labour classes the hospital provided, the midwife went around the room of first-time parents-to-be and asked three questions: What were their names? What week were they in? What reference materials had they accessed?

I would say that about 80% of a rather large group said they’d avoided reading too much so they didn’t scare themselves. Holy crap – THAT is my version of a nightmare. I can understand that to some people ignorance in this arena may appear to be bliss, but let me tell you, after going through labour myself I could not imagine entering that situation knowing the bare minimum. The biggest challenge you will face in labour is fear, and although this may not ring true for everyone – when you don’t know what’s happening and why and you’re experiencing pain like you’ve never experienced – fear will increase this tenfold.

A great resource for me was a book called “Birth Journeys: Positive Birth Stories to Encourage and Inspire”, compiled and edited by Leonie MacDonald. It may look a little hippie-esque from the front (nude pregnant women in a lovely strategically-draped scarf). It is full of positive birthing stories from Australian women, ranging from full natural home-births to high-risk caesarian sections. It reinforced that whatever way your labour goes, regardless of your Birth Plan, it can be a positive experience and not one to be judged by – either by others or yourself.

This meant that when my Birth Plan was quickly thrown out the window thanks to a combination of body, environment and baby – I knew what the options were, why they were there and when they would kick in. This meant that although I was disappointed I didn’t get my intervention-free waterbirth, I had such a positive birthing experience that it didn’t matter. It felt like the ultimate outcome was just a part of the journey to meet August. Whether he arrived via the official exit or the stage door – my experience was not lessened by its diversion from the planned path.

Welcoming August Gray

If I’ve been a bit quiet of late (though really, with Amy solely holding the fort with some cracker posts – you’ve got a pretty good reason not to have noticed), it’s not because I haven’t been carrying my weight (all 42 weeks of it) – it’s because that weight was finally converted to baby on the Nineteenth of March, 2014.

Introducing, August Gray Kennon. We think he’s a bit scrummy.


In addition to a long labour, birth plan that went out the window and a longer stay in hospital than anticipated, well, you know, I have a newborn. It’s pretty much all consuming, and he has taken my time and breath away faster than you can say grazed nipple.

So I’ll be back in the swing of things with a post tomorrow, and since Amy has her own impending baby to birth, you might see a bit more of me when she disappears into the newborn haze.

I’ll leave you with the moment Hazel met August (this was taken just before August started crying and Hazel took the hands-off “I didn’t do it!” approach to baby-holding)



FFS Friday: The Havoc That an Unborn Can Reap

photo 2

1. This is just one of series of images that my husband took of my foot in which he had made an indentation with an inanimate object. In this instance, his thumb. Oh, the humanity!

Now, it wouldn’t be right to say that I’m renowned for having a well-turned ankle and a good set of calves – but I will say that I have always been happy with the shape, size and general look of anything below the knees. And for most of my pregnancy, indeed really all the way up to about 38 weeks, I thought I’d escaped the curse of the fluid retention.

Clearly, I was wrong.

So here we are, at 41 weeks with the legs resembling the trunk of a native tree and fingers the size of soy-sages.

And before anyone has a heart-attack about potential pre-eclampsia – I don’t have it. Blood pressure etc all normal – just storing up fluid like the Hoover Dam.


photo 1

2. How many towels does it take to soak up the overflow from a bath you left running after dozing off because that new book you purchased was SO BORING …. oh, about this many.



Bodies and Babies – The Feedback Session

On a scale of one to ten in the “whelmed” department, it’s pretty safe to say that Amy and I have exceeded the numbers and have spilled into the “over” section.

Overwhelmed indeed.

What we’ve loved is the sharing of other people’s stories, and it has made it clear to us that these tough topics need to be discussed openly in a place without judgment, agenda or an intent to spark debate. I mean, we LOVE a good debate (don’t get me started on pyjamas vs au natural), but that’s not the intent here.

We thought that today it’d be nice to roundup some of the encouraging comments and feedback we’ve received from our last couple of posts that really seemed to resonate with readers. We’ve had strangers and close friends share their stories with us, with so much to be gained from this exchange of experiences.

There’ll be plenty more where that came from folks!

An Ode and a Farewell to This Baby Body

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

“Hell yes to all that!!  I actually made the very bold statement to Dave the other day that, for the first time in my adult life, I actually feel sexy. And it all began when motherhood came knocking. Didn’t see that coming. Yay to a beautiful body, flaws and all, but most of all: yay to a newly refreshed mind, heart and soul.” Brooke

“After motherhood we accept our bodies for what they are. Amazing.” Hannah

Let the Tough Times Roll

Let the Tough Times Roll

“This was beautiful Beautiful. Reading this has had a huge impact on me and helped me with something I’ve been dealing with in an unexpected way. No over sharing here but a case in point of how allowing people into you vulnerability can reflect their own and help them deal with it. Thank you!”  Richard

“Thank you for sharing your experience, I think the more women talk about these kinds of things, the better we can all deal with them. In my opinion, there’s no such thing as oversharing. I didn’t think I could like Hazel anymore than I already do, considering I’ve never met her, but am glad to be proved wrong! She’s wonderful, and so are you xxx” Leila




An Ode and a Farewell To This Baby Body

bumpcollageIs that a lot of polka dot, or is it just me…?

Although it may, at times, feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, with a gestational period that could rival an elephant (22-24 MONTHS!!!?!??!), I really have loved *almost every minute of it. I was determined to approach the constantly changing body of mine with a positivity that can only come with a complete surrender to what you’re about to go through. Yes, your stomach is going to get real big. Yes, things will stretch and bloat and swell and no longer resemble their original namesake (I’m looking at you ankles). And yes, nothing will fit.

But the human body is this truly beautiful thing and until you see it changing and perhaps take a second each month to capture this change, I don’t know if you are really aren’t able to enjoy the full experience of pregnancy. Now, I’m not suggesting for a moment that every woman will have a fabulous 9 months, particularly with the random influx of symptoms that invariably accompanies “being with child”. You can pretty much type any symptom into Google and it will auto-fill the rest of your query with “…during pregnancy.”

  • “Sore calf muscle… during pregnancy”
  • “Twitching eye…during pregnancy”
  • “Carpel Tunnel… during pregnancy”
  • “A random ache in the left-hand lower part of your back, that only appears after eating fruit… during pregnancy”

What I am suggesting however, is that pregnant women are pretty darn amazing, and I have loved watching friends of mine grow and bloom alongside me (even if they have popped before me…not bitter at all), and seeing their partners find wonder and joy in their new and really, quite fleeting, rounder bodies.

I’ve never felt quite as beautiful as when I was able to crack out a bikini and display a really, truly pregnant belly at the beach. I felt proud of this body and what it was carrying, and gosh darn it, it should be out for all to see. I don’t care about the waddle or the general swollen nature of of my limbs now that I’ve hit the over-ripe stage. I’m quite busy creating and maintaining a life in this belly, and that’s no mean feat. So let’s all have a good look at it.

I’m also so thankful for the opportunity to objectively reflect on my previous body image, and the serious body dysmorphia that I was dealing with for years. Until you have lost all semblance of a waist and have increased your breast size at least a couple of sizes, you can’t appreciate the shock with which you look at relatively recent pictures and think “Holy crap, I looked pretty alright.” It’s helped me see clearly how differently and negatively I viewed my shape, and really, what a waste of time that is.

I know that after this baby has finally made its grand entrance, my body wont simply snap back to its former glory (this is made easier by it never having been particularly snappy in the past). I will probably have days where I look at it and don’t recognise or appreciate the new flabby parts, or the parts that show the war scars of having fought the good fight against the spread and lost. But I know that this body gave life, adapted amazingly well to what was going on inside and out, and produced a new human being. And that means I can only love it more.

So here’s to you body. You did a bit of alright.

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

*Except those two times that I was in a church for more than 2 hours in over 40 degree heat without air-conditioning. Pregnant Caroline + church + heat = all kinds of sin that result in feet the size of shoe boxes. I was suitably smote.

Judgement Days – The Phenomenon of the Mother-Haka

beyonce haka

Sasha Fierce! Giving as good as she gets when greeted by a traditional Haka before a concert in NZ.

Long before we had medical confirmation that there was indeed the spawn of our loins kicking around in my belly, Adam and I had discussed the pros, cons and general thoughts about having children. We knew we wanted them, we also knew we wanted to do some living, travelling, dancing on a whim, so the pretty standard plan was set that saw us agreeing to enjoy some time together as a couple before bringing another small life into our home (we already had Molly the dog/dag – and she’s way more human than a canine should be). In essence, we knew life would change.

It’s not like we announced ‘the plan’, we just assumed it was pretty stock-standard to everyone. But we did start to get a subtle vibe of the “just you wait”s from the (previously unknown to us and clearly self-proclaimed) flag bearers of the “PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN” (PWC)camp.

There were videos on Facebook of comedians who turn to their children for schtick, painting charicatures of those folks who didn’t have children walking around this earth like a bunch of lobotomized zombies without any idea of the life of the PARENT. I’ve never heard a whole audience wail with bitter laughter before, but my word, that is some scary shit. I felt that laugh deep in my waters. Like it was directed straight at me and anyone else who didn’t have children and therefore of course must assume that a life with children in the future woud be all hair-brushing and cuddles with angels. “THEY HAVE NO IDEA” they all chorused. Isn’t it FUNNY how they view life? Just. You. Wait.

Wow. Talk about intimidating.

Now, I will point out this was not all of the people we knew with children, or indeed even a majority, but you really only need a few to get your brain rolling. One starts to question ones thoughts on anything to do with kids, and how they will change/alter/ruin your life. Why were we getting so much negativity fired at us? Why do people find humour in taking the piss out of people who aren’t parents? And this is where we get to the crux of the issue – WHY do other parents (and I’ll make a pretty confident generalisation here – it’s Mothers mainly) feel the desire to scare the shit out of first time parents?

We here at DoE have called it the Mother-Haka.

The Haka (pronounced) is a traditional ancestral war cry, dance or challenge from the Māori people of New Zealand. It’s seen popularly at the start of Rugby matches, as performed by the New Zealand team towards their opponent. There is a lot of yelling, scary face pulling, tongue polking and stamping of the feet that is intended to intimidate the opposition. They let off steam, feel pretty confident about themselves, and get to be all shouty. Thus, the Mother-Haka term was coined.

These are the people who at any opportunity will tell you their terrible birth stories, how they tore, labored forever (literally forever it seems), got every negative side effect of pregnancy, had a child with colic, had a child that NEVER slept, had a crier, a nipple-biter, a fussy eater, a hitter – basically, they had something of all of these things AND YOU WILL TOO AND SO THERE. Shouty shouty, polking tongue out etc etc.

“Oh, I cannot WAIT until your child teethes and you haven’t slept in days “. Ouch. Why? Why would you wish that upon me? So I can FEEL your bitter pain? Yes. Basically, this is exactly why they do it. They’re not happy, and they may not feel heard or supported, and they were probably on the receiving end of the Mother-Haka prior to becoming a parent which has left quite the ugly taste in their mouth. Basically, it’s not you – it’s them. And you don’t have to stay for the whole dance.

I’m not suggesting that everyone planning to have children should be walking around in some dream-like state, operating under the assumption that it wont be the world’s hardest job at times. I certainly didn’t, and I absolutely resent being patronised by the PWC who assumed I had no notion of what I was “getting myself into”. I really really do, and that’s why I’m 31, and chose a partner who is up for the sharing of parental responsibilities, so I don’t lose my absolute shizzle and start painting my face and waving my arms at pregnant ladies. And do you know what, if there ARE people who have convinced themselves that parenting will be an absolute breeze and that it wont change their acitve social lives in the slightest – well, that’s for them to find out. It really doesn’t affect anyone else.It REALLY. DOESN’T.

There is a level of support that we all need to embrace that should celebrate the choice to either have or not have children, and equip anyone stepping into parenthood with a good mix of the real challenges but the complimentary wonder. The moment you see someone starting to move into a Mother-Haka stance – give them a hug and tell them they’re doing a good job. They probably need it.

How Soft Can Your Launch Be?


When discussing the methods of launching ones new venture or website, there are generally two that are utilised; a “soft launch” or a  “hard launch”.  One method is subtle while the other is brazen. Now, we’ve certainly never shied from being classified as brazen, however our approach to the launch of the Daughters of Eccentricity blog was somewhat beyond subtle. We preferred to go with the “faff for quite a while until the day before its mentioned in a nationally-recognised publication and tell literally no one in advance” method.

We knew what we wanted to say, and we knew aesthetically how we wanted to say it, but pulling it all together did happen somewhat at the last minute. But don’t all good things tend to happen this way? We needed that kick up the backside to get the ball rolling.

Insanely lucky to secure the talents of the always amazing (and quirktastic) Letitia Green, our DoE logo and branding was in safe hands as she really set the mark for what we wanted to achieve. And she totally got what we were doing. Which is awesome. A new mum herself (to the positively edible Tippi), It wasn’t the first time we’d been lucky enough to work with Letitia; while she worked her magic on the logo, Amy got down to business creating some truly beautiful birth announcement cards (check them out!) that came straight out of Amy’s brain and into letterpressed beauty. And by golly we’re tickled pink with the outcome!

So what are we about? What are we here to say that hasn’t been said, or isn’t going over old ground? Well, we gots quirks you see. And plenty of them. And we think we’re not alone. There are so many parents out there, dealing with their everyday eccentric lives that somehow include family, work AND being a creative. Or sometimes just rotating two of those in and out, at different times.

We had/have quirky parents. Yah, we really did. We’ll get to that, and perhaps along the way create some unintended new heroes of the Australian parenting landscape. Or they could just make you groan. We shall see.

Unsurprisingly, we have become quirk-tastic parents ourselves. We take a positive, progressive and, dare-we-say it, feminist approach to modern parenting. So we think there is a space for the daily musings on being such a parent in 2014: the decade of the Supermum, Helicopter Parents, Yummy Mummies and all other kinds of competitive parenting practices. And just a heads up – we like a little bit of cussing and a bangin’ anagram or two.

Importantly though, we love learning. From others, from each other, from unexpected places. This is one of the most important aspects of what we hope to achieve. An exchange of thoughts and positive growth that helps not only us as parents, but our kids as people. In general.

We can’t – bloody – wait.