The Flipside Of Love

love sign

I love my family. I love my husband; by jove I love that man. I love my friends, the whole crazy lot of them. They’re our village.

But this kid…. This kid is different.

Maybe it’s the instant nature of it. I felt it the moment I held him, and I know it’s not like that for some people. It can take a little while to get your head and heart around this new being in your life. But it hit me full force, crazy pregnant lady hormones or nay.

And almost with the same force, I felt the fierce grip of fear.

I looked into the eyes of this tiny baby and realised that although I could with all confidence say that I would do anything for him, be the best kind of parent I could possibly be and give him all the love and support he would ever need – his future was not entirely mine to design.

And that scared the bejesus out of me.

I don’t mean this in a scary-dance-mom kind of way. I don’t have my sights on his career or academic/sporting life (though, I have a big plans for the use of novelty outfits and the like). I mean that I realised all of the things that could have been his life and that could still be his life simultaneously. Every news story, horror story, health warning and natural event that I’d never taken much notice of suddenly hit me like a tonne of bricks. Talk about an empathy baptism of fire.

But what to do with this fear? It can devour you whole if you let it, and dampen that pure love that made you radiate. But I think recognizing that it comes with the territory, that being able to love with such force has to come with a flipside of fear, makes it somehow bearable.

I suppose it may sound melancholic, but it’s important to discuss it. It’s only when we talk about our fears that we can recognise them, understand why they’re there and figure out how to live with them. I don’t want to helicopter around August, or instill a fear of the world in him. I don’t want to bang on about what could go wrong, and I don’t want those thoughts to consume me either. I want him to develop a healthy curiousity and interest in what’s happening around him, in other people and I want him to find his own place in the world.

I still worry. I will worry. It’ll probably give me more grey hairs and the like. But I deal with it knowing that it’s going to be there regardless, that all I can do is love him with everything I have, and that in order to enjoy this beautiful gift of bursting love, I have to accept it will always be there.

I think I can be cool with that.


August – 3 Months



Time flies when you’re having fun. Or perhaps more accurately, when you’re feeding, rocking, singing, crying, loving, sighing and breathing baby.

We knew we’d love this kid, but we didn’t know the extent of this love. At times a heart-wrenching love, when it seems the world is so big, and your baby so small.

Excited calls of  “ooh, come look at this!” still ring and will continue to ring throughout the house, when we want to share with each other this silly face, the first roll, or a huge-mungous poo that this little thing presents to us. We laugh a lot, and now sometimes all together, when August figures a giggle out.

He’s grown in length, but not particularly in girth. His contemporaries are bubbling and bursting at the seams, but he suits his petiteness. He often captures attention because of his likeness to a miniature person, not just a baby. Bottle-shop attendants, key-cutters, and librarians have not escaped his charm, much to my amusement. And he knows how to turn it on.

I can remember life before him, I don’t hold with the adage that you forget. But this is a different life, a one that bring such highs, such swells and a little fear. But it’s all good. It’s where we want to be.

Happy 3 months August. We’re on the edge of our seats to see what 4 brings. And we love you so very much.

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

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“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




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.