being female.

“Mummy, Mummy! I just saw a lady riding a motorbike. Completely on her own!”

And these aren’t the only words that Ruby has said recently that make me wonder what is actually going on with the world?!

Why is it that what is absolutely nothing to me (of course a woman can ride a motorbike on her own!), is so shocking to my five year old daughter?

“That man is wearing a pink shirt.”

“Henry is playing with my dolls”

“I can’t play football, don’t be silly”

“That is not for me, it’s for a boy!”

I have always tried to avoid gender stereotypes with both of my children, but never made a big deal of it. I put Ruby in babygrows with colours that are traditionally thought of as ‘boys colours’, I buy Henry dolls because he likes them, I let Ruby run around in the mud, climb trees and razz around on her bike. Because that is what she enjoys doing!

I work. Pretty much full time. I worked all the way through both of my hyperemesis-filled pregnancies. I walk into male-dominated property industry meetings every day and smash them. I love football and rugby. And so does my husband. He works full time. We share chores (granted, I do most of the housework) and he cooks and takes care of both of them just as much as I do.

So why is it that she still has a warped view of what it is to be female?

Is it in-built? Is it people at school?

It certainly doesn’t come from me, or from any of our family members – two of her wonderfully clever, talented and totally empowered Aunties bought the same book for her for Christmas – “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”.

Showing me that they share my desire to raise Ruby knowing that being female is more than fluff and flounce, more than giggles and boys, more than having babies and keeping house.

Not that any of those things are bad. Quite the opposite in fact. Anyone who knows me knows that. Nothing is better than getting dressed up and going out for drinks and giggling with your girls!

But I want her to grow up knowing that to be female is to be strong. To be miraculous. To be brave.

To be anything she wants to be and do absolutely anything that she wants to do.

So when she says things like she said this morning about the woman riding the motorbike, I will always turn back and tell her exactly this:

Yes, Ruby. Women can do anything they want to do. We are amazing.

And we truly are.




Does anyone have the instruction manual for a child? Mine is lost and the volume control is broken!

I am at the end of my tether.

Actually about to burst, run away or surgically remove my ears to get away from it.

What’s the ‘it’? I hear you say.

The ‘it’?

The ‘it’ is the almost constant ear piercing shriek of my five and a half year old. And the copycat that is her little brother.

No matter what the situation, be it happy and jolly or blood pressure raising, the volume is off the scale.

You can hear her from down the street as you walk up the path after a long day at work.

You can hear her screaming when she is in the car and you are in the house.

You can even hear her when you are fully submerged under the bath water trying to (drown yourself) relax after yet another jam packed weekend.

I kid you not.

I don’t know how teachers cope.

Do they end up deaf at a really young age? Permanently popping Ibuprofen to get rid of the constant headache caused by 30+ immensely loud small people every single day?

I used to want to be a teacher.

I think I have changed my mind based on this factor alone – the endless mounds of paperwork and targets would be a breeze in comparison!

I cannot recall the exact number of times I have asked for less noise, the use of an “inside voice” or even as simple an instruction as no screaming. But these phrases are certainly a major part of my repertoire, and quite frankly I am fed up of it.

I am a nag.

I am a bore.

All for the want of a life without a permanent headache.

Is there a point when the incessant screaming stops? Please tell me that there is, and that it’s soon!

In the meantime, share your tales of woe and tips of wonder with me…please!

we stand together.

I feel lost. Lost at sea.
What is happening to this world?
Where will the next attack be?

Children. Sweet children. Alone and in pain.
Fire. Nails. Bolts. Ripping things apart.
For what? What is there to gain?

Sometimes I wonder. But do I want to understand?
What goes on in their heads.
Why they have done what they have meticulously planned.

My children. My life. My day to day.
Everyone lives life differently but we are basically the same.
So why were these people targeted?
Who am I to say?

No man is an island.
No one better than the rest.
Each of us is valuable. Memorable.
Let us not put that concept to the test.

It doesn’t bear thinking about.
What might happen next.
I just hope we see peace on the other side.
So that my children never have to hide
From whoever they become. Wherever they end up. Whomever they love.

Peace. Tolerance. Understanding.
Respect for one another.
How to live as best we can
Mother. Father. Sister. Brother.

I weep today for those that have died.
So many tears I have cried.
And have pulled my children in extra close.
Because they are the future.
And they need to understand love and tolerance the most.

So let us stand together. One and all.
We won’t be beaten. Not ever.
We remain proud. Fight harder. Stand tall.

Value all that is right and good.
Never stronger
Never better
Than what we are together.


To those that have died, are injured and are still missing.