1. I was a single parent when I had K.
Being a single parent is a tough gig, but so freaking awesome too. The hard part I guess is also the easiest part. Hard, because you have no-one to share sleep/experiences/support/decisions with, but also easy, because you get to make all the decisions and the rules and do everything your own way. That being said, I’d take my partnership with D over being a single parent hands down.
When I was younger I was in a not-so-great (ok, it was bloody awful!) relationship which resulted in a surprise pregnancy. I was 22. The baby’s father decided that he wasn’t ready to be a dad, while I knew that I wanted nothing more than to be a mother. Subsequently, he left me 3 months pregnant. Turns out it was the best thing he ever did for me!!! Baby K came along and my life was forever changed for the better. I loved him with every part of my being. He was my everything. I always say that K saved my life. If he didn’t come along, I probably would have stayed with his father and who knows what might have happened to me and where I would be now, but it wouldn’t be here with K, D, J and T. Thank you K for giving me back my life! I love you, you will always be my number one son!
Me and newborn Kai. 2001.
2. I know I have mentioned it before but I’ll give the whole story. I met my husband through an online dating site.
Once K was about 3 years old, I was ready to receive someone else in my life and signed up to RSVP. After a date with one gentleman who stood me up and a bunch of awful emails from illiterate old men, clearly just after sex, I received a ‘kiss’ from someone called ‘jaisdad’. It was his name which caught my attention, as he was obviously a dad to a son, whose name happened to rhyme with Kai. I checked him out and thought that he looked ok, so sent a reciprocal kiss. The next day I received an email from him and was shocked that this man could not only spell and string a grammatically correct sentence together, but he also sounded interesting and definitely someone I would like to get to know better. We emailed each other daily for a whole month before biting the bullet and meeting. We set up a date at Dreamworld with the kids in tow, and as they say… the rest is history! I met my sole mate and my best friend on that day. I love him more and more every day.
3. I didn’t get my shit together and go to university until I was OLD(er).
So I had this little boy and was working a ‘going nowhere fast’ job a few days a week in a cafe. I have nothing against hospitality workers, hell I have spent years working in the industry, but unless you OWN the place or are making the big bucks running the whole joint, I see hospitality more as a stepping stone to working towards finding your dream job and making it happen.
Problem was, I didn’t really know what it was that I wanted to do. All I did know was I wanted a better life for me and my son and I needed to MAKE that happen. After weighing all my options I decided that I would apply to do a Bachelor of Education at university. Since I never finished school (shock horror, I was a high school drop out), I had to do a song and a dance and apply as a mature aged applicant, which means – old fart with no education. Anyway, this old fart got in. Hooray!
I began my teaching degree in 2005 and actually shocked myself by doing really freaking well! I received awards and all sorts of shit. Yay me. Toot toot (blowing my own trumpet). Turns out I’m actually smarter than I ever thought I was.
Rocking the cap and gown. 2008.
4. I like to teach ‘challenging kids’ the most.
I have been teaching for 3 years. This would have been my 4th year, but so far I’ve been at home with T. I am dreading the day I have to leave him and go back to work. That day is coming very soon. Mumma Bear needs some moolah and is soon to return to the world of casual relief teaching – no planning, no reporting, no responsibility with a paycheck. Yes please.
I have spent time in 2 ‘types’ of school. I’ve taught at Predominately white, middle class, high performing schools and a completely opposite type of school. While I enjoy teaching, and love the children I teach in the ‘easy’ schools, my own children even go to one of these school and thrive academically and socially, I have to say that working in a ‘challenging’ school is far more rewarding.
When I say challenging, you all know what I mean. Low socio-economic area, families living below the poverty line, children presenting with all sorts of issues from living with abuse, to parents in jail, to not showering for a week because there is no hot water and electricity, to being wards of the state. Honestly, I could go on and on. Needless to say, generally these kids are performing well below national average. Sad but true.
With all of these challenges also comes behaviour. Sometimes extreme behaviour. Like, whoa kiddo, are you freaking kidding me? Did you just say, ‘go fuck your mumma’s asshole, bitch’? (not said to me, they wouldn’t dare) Colourful. You need a thick skin and a sense of humour! And to be tougher than they are.
But sometimes, you are the only constant person in these kids lives, and these kids, more than the kids in the middle class schools who have a whole support network cheering them on, need us. I feel like I can really make a difference in their lives, and they need it. I love teaching underprivileged kids, they sure do have spunk. Never a dull moment, that’s for sure. And seriously, if you can teach in a school like this and survive (and still want to be a teacher), you can teach anywhere.
5. I love Home and Away and Big Bang Theory. Say no more. T’s favourite song is Soft Kitty.
6. I am a Belly Dancer.
My mum has been belly dancing pretty much all my life. She was the first professional performer in Queensland and has had her own belly dance academy for a million years. As a child, I did ballet. I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up, but I NEVER EVER wanted to belly dance. That is what my mother did. Gross.
After K was born something shifted in me and I felt moved to do something womanly so went to classes. I’ve been dancing for 10 years now and have even stepped out as a professional from time to time. Yep, I get to wear fabulous costumes, dance around, entertain people and get paid for it! Pretty awesome. I danced all through pregnancy too, and even performed with the troupe 3 weeks before T was due.
I’m the one with the gut.
7. I have an Eye Papilloma.
It is a benign tumor inside my bottom eyelid. I’ve had it cut out before and it’s grown back. It’s annoying and gross and I can’t wait to have it removed again. This time they are going to cut a much bigger chuck out and laser burn the edges. Awesome. I hope they put me to sleep this time as last time I was awake and had to stare down the needles and scalpels coming towards my eye. Not something I would like to experience again.
8. Conceiving T wasn’t as easy as we thought it was going to be.
Soon after we were married we began trying to fall pregnant but to no avail. I thought that it would happen within a few months at most. How wrong I was! After 18 months of disappointment and heartache, we had moved onto an (in) fertility specialist. It turned out that I was fine but D has dodgy swimmers. Lazy, deformed, a-hole swimmers. We had hoped that we could achieve pregnancy through IUI, but the specialist only gave us an at best 5% success rate as his sperm would still be unable to swim the fallopian tube to inseminate the egg. He gave us a less than 1% chance of falling pregnant naturally and said our best option was IVF.
We decided to do the IVF and were waiting for my next period to begin to start the treatment cycle. Imagine our shock/surprise/disbelief when that period never came and I was PREGNANT!
9. I can’t sing.
Seriously. Small children and animals run and hide, plants wither and die, musicians the world over cry a little when I belt out a tune. My husband, a music teacher, must be so ashamed.
10. I don’t have that many friends.
But the ones I do have are so special to me. Love.