Christmas shopping commandments

by Shae on December 4, 2013



It is officially December which means it’s time for the shops to get busy, the complaining to begin and people to start behaving badly. Christmas seems to bring out the “self-important asshole” in a lot of the population so, as a former retail worker and current user of shopping centers, I thought I’d share some commandments for a more pleasant present shopping experience. For all involved.


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Thou shalt remind yourself that the shops will be packed.

It seems obvious but people always seem to be surprised. It’s not a new thing everyone. There will be less car spaces and bigger lines and it will take you longer to do pretty much everything. Just get your head around it and try and allow for the extra time & lack of personal space.


Thou shalt not be an asshole to the sales staff.

You know what? Retail pays like crap and they mostly deal with people who treat the staff as they would a piece of dirt on the bottom of their shoe while said staff member has to be polite. It’s not cool to be a jerkface to anyone but be extra nice to the human beings who get paid peanuts to be nice to monkeys. And note the commandment above-at christmas they have do deal with it more often from crankier people. BE NICE & REMEMBER YOUR MANNERS.


Thou shalt not compare thine bounty with that of the guy standing next to you with 6 iPads.

Truly, if you have enough money to put a single thing under the tree then you’re winning. It’s tough to grow up with less (I know, I did) but I also knew my parents did their best and bought all of the gifts with consideration and love instead of  a stack of cash and it was awesome. More isn’t always better and comparison truly is the thief of joy.


Thou shalt take a list.

You don’t want to go BACK to the shopping complex AGAIN, do you? Especially if it’s for that one itty bitty thing that you could have picked up when YOU WERE JUST THERE.


Thou shalt not try any dumb shit to make lines go faster.

Huffing & puffing, invading the personal space of the customer in front of you, making that bloody awful “click-sigh” noise or complaining  loudly about how slow the line is DOES NOT MAKE THE TIME PASS QUICKER. Knock it off and play on your smartphone or something.


Thou shalt not forget online stores, local small-business and handmade as options.

You might be able to skip the unpleasantness altogether!


Thou shalt feel free to find something enjoyable about the whole experience.

Complaining about christmas shopping is widely approved of and most everyone does it so we all kind of join in but I think there are things about it that are awesome. Buying gifts for those you love-knowing how much they will enjoy it, maybe some kid free time at the shops or catching the train into the city together for a day out. It’s doesn’t all have to be bad!





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Dear Me,

by Shae on November 25, 2013


Dear me,

More specifically dear me with newborn Tannah in 2005,


I’m writing you this on the day you will almost give up on breastfeeding.





This is the day you will be at the shops and be feeding Tannah in the parents room and see HER. You will see a woman casually pop a boob out the bottom of her shirt and feed her baby (not much older than your own 8 week old). It will seem like a big deal to you  because she does it with such ease and then she has the nerve to flick through a magazine AND eat a sushi roll at the same time. You will be across the room fumbling with a feeding pillow (and thinking “who the hell has to take a feeding pillow to the shops!”), trying to coax out a flat nipple and then getting your baby attached without pain. It takes both your hands and all your concentration. And she feeds for aaaagggeesssss.

A large part of you will feel like walking over to that woman and pushing her sushi roll right out of her hands, but a bigger part of you will feel inadequate. It won’t be the first or last time you cry in public but this time you do it so the seemingly super woman across the room doesn’t notice. And you tell yourself that you are done with breastfeeding.

You will go home and cry some more to your husband who will remind you that it has gotten a bit easier since the start and that Tannah is gaining heaps of weight. You will call the ABA line who will talk you through it some more and you decide to try for a bit longer.


And before you know it the woman popping the boob out with ease and multitasking at the same time is you. It does get easy. So easy in fact, that you will go on to breastfeed Tannah until after her second birthday. This will blow your mind but you will breastfeed your second and third kids well into toddlerhood too-in fact you will tandem feed them for a year. Brace yourself.




So hang in there. You are so close. You’ll be all book (one day something called a smartphone) and coffee and breastfeeding at the same time before you know it.





This post is part of the “Dear Me” series to promote the Online Breastfeeding Cafe, a new initiative by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. It encourages women to talk and share and be part of the conversation about breastfeeding via a supportive online forum and facebook page.




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Maybe you weren’t born to ruuuunnnnnn

by Shae on November 22, 2013



NOTE- this post is not about bashing people who do run and it’s not about you, you or even you who love to run. This post is about being a non runner an online world with mass saturation about how rad running is. If running is your thing, that’s ace. 


I see you here reading my blog. That means you have internet access. You may have even popped over here by following a link from social media. I’m guessing that if you have internet and use social media you may have noticed that running is the new black.

You may have been asking yourself “if a run happens on the road and nobody’s fitbit tells me on facebook did it even happen?” or you might start thinking that 1/2 of your tweeps can’t be wrong and maybe you should be running too. At least then you’d have something to add to the conversation.

So you download an app and give it a go. Maybe you also find joy in pounding the pavement-we’ll know because we’ll get to see it over the various social media platforms we hang out on because sharing is real a part of modern running-and if so then good for you. Finding a way you love to move your body is ace.

But maybe you don’t love it.

You know what? That’s OK too.

There are a billion ways to have a body and so many ways you might enjoy to exercise that body-if exercise is a goal you have. If you try something out and don’t enjoy it then it’s OK to give it away. And it’s OK not to be interested in how much all the runners love to run or how far and fast they do it.  Just because it has a massive presence online does not mean it is for everyone or that you have to participate in that particular branch of fitspo.


I will say again this is not an attack on running or particular runners. It’s an assurance to those of us who are not runners that just because so many people are doing it and sharing it online doesn’t mean there is something wrong or you are missing out if it’s not your thing.


Yesterday I put on a pair of roller blades for the first time since the 90s. I spent a large portion of that decade whizzing around on my own pair. When I buckled up yesterday it was like no time had passed and I was zooming around the rink in no time. It felt good to be moving around in a way that felt easy and natural for me. Same as when I hit the pool. Swimming laps feels good. It’s movement that comes naturally to me and that I enjoy.

They can have their running.






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I don’t know.

by Shae on November 19, 2013




When people find out that the kids don’t go to school there are often questions. I don’t mind really, I get that mostly people are being curious about something they may not have encountered often. But I usually don’t answer the questions that people want to know because I don’t know myself.


I don’t know what we are going to do for high school or beyond.

And I’m not worried about that a bit.


I am not going to spend time now hypothesizing about what they may or may not want to do in 5 or so years.  I have no interest making guesses about where they may choose to focus their pursuits in the future.

I truly don’t know, and that makes it easier to home educate today.


When we first decided that we were not going to send Tannah to prep we didn’t know how it would go. We decided to give it a couple of years and reassess. I feel that if we had started worrying about what she was going to do when she was 8 or 12 or 16 we would have been frightened out of seeing what we wanted to do right then.

Now I’m sure to many this may seem foolish, that I am selling my child short by not thinking about university options when they are 6.

The truth is that no one knows what their child is going to want to do or be focused on or what help they may need in 10 years time. The high school that is chosen with care before their child can read may be completely inappropriate for any number of reasons by the time they are old enough to go. The focus on attending university when a child starts high school may ignore talents and interests that may benefit from trade school or travel or entering the workforce. Or taking a few years off.

And of course we made sure that there were many options available before deciding on the school-free (for now) route. They may well want to attend a local high school, or go to tafe, or do their school certificate with a view to attending uni, or do a bridging course to get them into the degree of their choosing, or do a trade, or be a dancer or whatever. I don’t know.  But I do know that all of these options and more are available.

Home educating is not a thing that needs to be set in stone forever.


So if you are the parent who is thinking of skipping school to educate at home for whatever reason know that you can do that for as long as it suits everyone.  That might only be a year, or it might be forever.

It’s OK not to know.




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