Edition #11
May 7th 2021
On my mind this week:
I wandered back this morning from the mother's day breakfast at our little human's school today, slightly buzzing from the coffee, conversations with other mums and the pink streamers and tiny glass jars of flowers. Having been through miscarriage and watched friends struggle with infertility or the myriad of reasons why you might want to be a mother but can't, I'm so conscious of the difficulty as well as the joy that this time of year can bring. If this is you or you have lost your mum or have a difficult relationship with her, I just want you to know that I see you. Below is just my reflection on how it happened for me and whatever place you find yourself in with all of it this week, I'm sending you a giant ball of love.
Motherhood hit me like a freight train I didn't see coming. I became a mother just after I turned 30 and was completely and utterly flawed by the whole thing. I'd planned a huge birthday party before giving birth at around 36 weeks and just beforehand cancelled because I had to go into hospital for a little while to be monitored. Everything was fine but I didn't end up having that 30th birthday party and so began life responsible for small humans where anything goes and the best laid plans can change on a dime. Looking back is this in any way a big deal? No. But what I think is interesting is just how surprised I was at having to cancel and how autonomous I was as a person before I had my son. I would not change being a mum for the world but it has taken a few years I think for me to let go of the person I was and really lean into the person I am now in motherhood. I think we don't talk enough about how parenting really does fundamentally change you irreversibly. 
A phrase I heard recently made me stop and pause. The word 'matrescence' isn't recognised by my spell check which I think speaks volumes about the whole experience and many of the life altering things that happen during womanhood that for the most part feel very under recorded. Shelving that for a minute, matrescence is the word given to a woman's psychological development when she becomes a mum. As Alexandra Sacks writes in her article for Medium "Like adolescence, it is a transitionary period. Being pregnant is like going through puberty all over again: your hormones go nuts, your hair and skin behave differently, and you develop a new relationship with a body that seems to have a mind of its own. The difference? Everyone understands that adolescence is an awkward phase. But during matrescence, people expect you to be happy while you’re losing control over the way you look and feel."
For me, just as being a teenager was full of awkward transitions and really too thin eyebrows, it was also full of vivid, joyful memories, earnest conversations about how I was going to change the world and just a bucket load of growth internally as well as externally. And what comes out from the other side of all that painfully self conscious posturing and questionable hair choices? A fully formed young adult (hopefully) with a stronger sense of identity and self assuredness ready to launch into their own life independent from their family. What if we gave mothers permission to do the same? What if just as we walk our young people through adolescence, understanding that they are going to need extra support and education about what is happening to them, we also gave this to pregnant women? What if we gave them more room for emotional turmoil, held space for tears and confusion and giant hormones, for not getting it right all the time and for goodness sake taking the pressure off having to make their bodies look like they did before they literally GREW A HUMAN BEING inside them. I think in the end empowering women and the people who are walking beside them through their transition to motherhood, with knowledge and language to explain how they are feeling psychologically as well as physically can only be a good thing. 

Sometimes I just watch my kids sleeping, completely and utterly in awe of their in the worldness. I was there for the whole process but it still blows me away that I get to be their mum and that I made them. That I carried them for nine whole months. Having kids is a little like having a piece of your heart just walking around all day separate from you, able to have a ball thrown at it or be called on to ask a question and not know the answer. I can be in amongst a thousand things during the day but there's always a small part of me that is wide awake and wondering where they are, if they've eaten, who they are playing with and if they're okay. I'm working to exfoliate guilt around wanting to also have my own life separate from them too. Giving myself permission to write and create away from my life with them is something I battle with. That and the lack of sleep. That sh*** is real. 
Illustration by the grand gal that is Mari Andrews @bymariandrews
Something to listen to:
This week I've discovered a podcast that has been around for ages called Table Manners. Musician Jessie Ware and her mum Lennie cook a lovely meal and invite someone usually very famous over for dinner. They all proceed to get deliciously jolly and boozy while discussing their love of food and often their relationships with their parents and their childhood. It feels like being at a wonderful dinner party in a mate's parents house where you could easily pull up a chair, tuck in to some chicken soup and have a laugh. The show is made even more wonderful by the relationship between Jessie and her mum. Lennie really often steals the show with her humour and culinary skills. I loved the episode with Dawn French where she extrapolates on her love of Cornish pasties. It made me immediately want to fly to England when it's possible, take a long luscious drive to Cornwall, eat fish by the sea and go on the hunt for all things pastie related. 

Something to cook:
Speaking of pasties my brother gave me his recipe for weekend pasties and it really is easy and a jolly good time. Just a heads up if you are a serious Cornish Pastie fiend these are not traditional by any means but over here in the growing winteriness of Melbourne these are a joy.
Weekend Pasties
- Assortment of diced and roasted vegetables. Whatever leftovers you have hanging around or carrots, zucchini, potato and onion 
- Worcestershire Sauce, Grated Cheddar Cheese and Chutney (Brother has left me to choose my own ratios - how daring)
- OR Curry powder (not to be added to the above this is an either/or proposition pal)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and season to taste.
- Cut sheets of frozen short crust pastry into quarters. Remember to take the pastry out first and let it defrost. This shouldn't take long.
- Fill pastry with vegetably mixture and then close with a fork in a triangle shape.
- Brush with a beaten egg and sesame seeds/chill flakes.
- Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden at 200 degrees Celsius.
You can also store these frozen ready to cook when the mood strikes. YUM!

Happy Mother's day to you if you are in the land of Oz and it's relevant to you. Wishing you and all your people a lovely weekend. I'm off to drink a cup of tea with a hot water bottle and a book in bed. Not sure there is much that gets better than that. 
'Til next week!
Tonts x
I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I write today, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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