Uncategorized

Creating a positive life

48374595_352702208643247_3080087477944320000_n“Nothing changes, if nothing changes” – Vanessa Haldane

People with a good job, good circle of friends, loving family and who are genuinely happy are lucky, right? They’ve just been handed everything in their life, haven’t they?

!WRONG! And if you are someone who thinks this way, then I am glad you have visited this blog – we need you here ❤

I am often told that I am “lucky” and whilst I feel incredibly blessed, luck ain’t got nothin’ to do with it. Luck didn’t create a successful home business, luck didn’t create a loving 18 year relationship, luck didn’t create work, modeling and influencer opportunities, luck didn’t bring me my health and fitness and luck sure as heck didn’t buy me my home or raise my children! Hard work, commitment, persistence and most importantly POSITIVITY  changed my life in an amazing way.

I have not always been this “happy’ – in fact, up until my 30’s I had a real victim mentality. I was bitter about the struggles I had been through in my life, the situations I had been in and the horrible events that had occurred in my life. I thought I deserved MORE, that I deserved BETTER and I expected “more’ and “better” to just happen – to magically appear in my life. It doesn’t work that way…. change takes time and it takes- well….. CHANGE.

Here I have a little guide, some tips, if you will, to how you too can change your outlook and create a positive life. This change will bring you happiness in abundance – so don’t start next year, dont start next week, don’t even start tomorrow – start NOW.

  1. DECISION – The first step – You have to make a decision – today – to become more positive and to make some , very difficult, changes. Negativity not only affects your mental health but also your physical, promoting more stress and illness!
  2. BE GRATEFUL – Lose the attitude of entitlement. It is practically impossible to lead  a happy and positive life when we are focussing on what we lack in our lives, and not appreciating what we already have. Start the practice of finding just ONE thing in your day, that you are grateful for. It can be as simple as being grateful for the sunrise or the cool breeze on your walk to work. Starting a Gratitude Journal can really help. Kiki K have some fabulous ones, but a simple notebook from Kmart is also perfectly fine!  Kiki-K Gratitide Journal
  3. LAUGHTER AND RESILIENCE – Sounds like a weird combination but , trust me, they go hand in hand. Are you easily offended by little jokes or light sarcasm? Try building up a little resilience and laughing more often. I’m not talking about a nasty or passive aggressive joke or comment, I’m talking about a light joke. Try laughing (fake it til you make it!) instead of becoming offended and learn to laugh at yourself and your silly mistakes instead of berating yourself 🙂
  4. DO FOR OTHERS – Doing something for others creates a sense of purpose and self worth. Start small by complimenting a friend or stranger, help someone solve a problem, hold open a door for someone and work your way up. Maybe eventually you can volunteer at a local charity or help a local family fundraise during a tough time.
  5. SELF TALK –  This is a huge one! Have a think about how you talk to yourself; Would you talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself? No? Then change it! This was really hard for me to do, and it took me ALOT of time and ALOT of practice. I constantly put myself down so instead of saying “I’m so weak! I sucked at that workout!” I now say “I’ve come so far, today was hard and I am proud of myself for turning up!”. If you’re like me, you may say the negative first – just make sure you follow-up with a positive ,to slowly change your mindset.
  6. RELATIONSHIPS – We become who we surround ourselves  so CHOOSE wisely. Yes I said “choose” – you decide who you spend your spare time with so limit your time with those who put you down, put others down, constantly negatively self talk, are victims or narcissists.  Instead, surround yourself with people who empower you to be better, love you for you and have a love and zest for life that just makes you smile.
  7. VICTIM MENTALITY – Stop being a victim! You are responsible for your thoughts and you are responsible for your actions. Life is about choices and we have all made bad choices that have resulted in a negative outcome. Own it, learn from it, move on from it!

“Become the happiest most positive person you know”

Remember that Nothing changes, if nothing changes and this includes relationships, work, fitness, food, health and… YOU.

Much Love, Ness xoxo

 

Uncategorized

Married With Children

In 2000 I met him – our eyes locked and it was instant. There was an indescribable connection and level of attraction I didn’t expect on a first interaction. From the second we met we laughed, whether it be at each other’s  Ace Ventura impersonations or our similar sense of sarcasm – we have been affectionately teasing each other daily, for 18 years!40676873_2217515991813839_6717800700346105856_n

We often get asked what our secret is – how have we stayed so happy? The truth? We aren’t always happy and it hasn’t been “easy”. Partnership of any  kind requires patience, compromise and compassion. There are times where you get so sick of each other you just want to move out – normal. There are times when their quirks and habits drive you to the point of insanity – normal. Normal looks different for everyone, for every coupling – so what has worked for us may not work you. However one thing I know for certain – you CANNOT go into a relationship with a fairytale view of how it will be. Those first six months when you’re endorphins are making you giddy and you’re getting to know each other – starting to fall in love; that doesn’t last forever. That’s why it’s often referred to as a honeymoon period. It’s a magical moment in a relationship when time seems to stand still, you experience new things, go on amazing adventures together, sex is often and new and fantastic, those hormones are raging and there’s nothing but excitement and promise for the future. Then you move in together, perhaps get married, and maybe you start planning that first baby, that first new home build or new home purchase – but then what?  Then life becomes repetitive, you incur debt, you might have children and suddenly everything feels quite mundane, boring – like Groundhog Day. This is when many people may start seeking that feeling, that they experienced in the early years, elsewhere. They chase that rush of endorphins that loved up feeling without thinking of the consequences – the old “grass is greener. But – instead of chasing that we need to WATER OUR OWN GRASS , we need to find peace and gratefulness for the mundane ,the routine. To be grateful for the fact we are lucky enough to experience this “boring” life with someone else and to work TOGETHER to keep each other happy in order to grow old without killing each other off. Gee I make it sound so desirable don’t I?! But its TRUE! When you spend 18 years living with ANYONE, not just a spouse, you’re going to get on each others nerves, you’re going to want space and alone time – it DOES NOT mean you don’t love each other anymore.40587477_2147261418933406_781899191373791232_n
So how have we lasted so long? Theres no magic trick – as I said – every coupling will be different and you need to communicate along the way.

But here are some tips we’ve discovered along the way – that have helped us stay together for nearly two decades (Holy Crap!)

Tips to lasting two decades…….

KEEP DATING Find time for one on one – without the kids (if you have the little rascals). It doesn’t have to be expensive and it doesn’t have to be a night-time date. I breastfed Kalani for 5.5 years and co slept with all the kids ( I still share a bed with a 6-year-old!) , nighttime dates are rarely possible for us and nights away havent been possible since I was pregnant. We do movies, lunch, just a coffee or walk on the beach, sometimes my hubby chucks a sicky when the kids are at school or kindy or daycare( his boss doesn’t read my blog right?) and we just snuggle and watch Netflix (or Netflix and chill now I know what that means 😉 )
LAUGH Be silly! Tell each other stupid jokes . Play pranks on each other. With all the mundane BS we all deal with on the daily its good to have someone you can just be a dag with. Don’t grow up too much.
SEX   Keep Having it!  That physical closeness is important – you’ll both be too tired sometimes – I’m not saying it has to be four times a day like in the beginning (gee vaginas are resilient aren’t they?!?) but don’t let it become six months before a romp in the hay. I’ve never liked that saying……It always gets me thinking about all the painful places that spiky hay could wind up, a bit like sex on the beach – ugh SAND! I’m off topic – it happens…. continuing on…..
BE FRIENDS Be BEST friends. Be there for your partner with compassion and a listening heart. When you want to roll your eyes , hug them instead. Do things with your partner you’d do with your friends – go bowling, play golf, work out together, gossip , hang out

TALK Tell each other about your day, your friends, the story you heard from a friends, friends, friends, brothers, Uncles favourite Aunts, cousin. And talk about the important things too – how you want to parent, what your goals are for the future – make plans – set goals TOGETHER

YOU TIME This is huge. Give each other space to grow as an individual as well as a couple. Allow your partner to keep their own identity, to go play footy or dance class or a trip away with friends, andd allow yourself the same.Your partner should be an awesome addition to your life, not the only thing you have in it. You can still have your own “life” as an individual that you share with your partner – in fact I think it’s hugely important. Without that, resentment creeps in and you long for your “old life” or to be alone for a while.

I don’t long for any other life – we have been teen parents with hand me down furniture, no electricity, no money – we have bought our first house together, gone on our first overseas trips together, made our interstate move together, cried together and lost loved ones – together.

We have had nothing and yet had everything – because we had each other the whole time.

Much love

Ness xo

40661193_989893704525551_5346945472739147776_n
We don’t take life too seriously, all the time!
Uncategorized

A battle within

TRIGGER WARNING!

If you fear for your, or someone elses, safety – please call 000

I can pinpoint when it all started. I was about 24 years old and Anxiety had taken over my life in a massive way. I had reached a point where I was afraid to leave the house, I was exhausted as panic attacks were occuring daily and for no apparant reason. I couldn’t go to the grocery store for fear of having a panic attack and publicly humiliating myself, or go in a lift or over a bridge in my car as I had an irrational fear of being trapped. I had anxiety about getting anxiety – a very common occurence for people with anxiety or panic disorders. To avoid feeling panic I stopped attending most social functions, visiting busy shopping centres or driving different routes to those I was familiar with. I don’t know exactly when my anxiety started – I have many reasons for why it began. Some very horrible things have happened to me from a very young age, that I’m not comfortable just brushing over here – so will omit it.; These things led me to view things differently to most little kids and my perception of myself, love and my value as a girl was warped. This led me to make some poor choices which eventuated in more abusive situations and basically a total loss of my sense of self, self esteem any self love and the ability to make good choices, by the time I was 15 years old.  So many times in my life my control had been taken from me and so many times I had been hurt by those who were suposed to protect me – so i was a generally anxious person from child hood.
I guess the day I was born was the beginning of a continuing battle with anxiety, disordered eating and a journey to self love.

Despite meeting an amazing man – UH-MAY_ZING – having two beautiful children and a loving family my anxiety was worsening and – it left me feeling out of control of my life, my body, my brain, my emotions…. my sanity. It made me feel physicall ill most of the time with upset tummys, constant nausea , heartburn, dry mouth, headaches and exhaustion.  The physical side effects of my anxiety was actually making it worse! I started fearing feeling or being sick whilst out, fear of vomiting in front of someone, fear of feeling really ill and not being home where I felt “safe”.  My solution was to stop eating – if I didn’t eat there would be nothing inside my stomach to upset it and I thought I was removing an aspect of my anxiety. I Thought I was pretty clever little problem solver I did! But some days I would eat and if I unexpectantly had to go out I would panic about the fact I had food in my stomach. This is when I started to purge my food. The first time I did it, it was literally to remove the food from my body so I wouldn’t feel sick – I wasn’t expecting the total feeling of relief I felt once I had thrown up, nor the release in my muscles and the feeling like I had control. And so began the disordered eating spiral – I wouldn’t eat all day long if we had somewhere to be and once we got home I would be STARVING and binge on everything I could get my hands on. I would be so full I would be in pain and then the guilt and shame was unbearable so I would be sick just to get rid of the pain and to chase that awesome rush and feeling of release and relief. Its quite ironic that I felt I was in “control” by doing this – as I had completely lost control, not regained it at all. I had handed my power over to , what I refer to as, the Demon in my mind. The Demon was, is, the voice inside my head that tells me  I need to do this in order to control my anxiety. It got louder and louder each day and my restriction, bingeing and purging increased to the point that anything and everything I ate or drank was being rid from my body. I didn’t relate my ED (eating disorder) with my anxiety, until much later, so I went to my GP to seek help for my panic attacks , anxiety disorder and , what I now know was, agoraphobia.  With the help of some professionals, regular visits with my GP and a treatment plan in place, my anxiety moved into the background enough that I could function at a somewhat “normal” level again.  I even discussed my stomach issues with my doctor who arranged some tests and my diet was changed to all gluten free and it helped ALOT. I was able to leave the house, I was able to see my friends and I felt hope at last.

I thought my ED would go when my anxiety did, when my stomach wasnt as tempermental – but I was so wrong.  When I purged I felt free, released from the hurt and the pain of my past and again, I felt in control. Once that feeling passed though, I hated myself, my internal dialogue was extrmely self depreciating and I couldn’t believe this is who I was and what I was doing! My weight started to drop dramatically and I discovered a new thrill, a new obsession – the scales. The measurements. The numbers.

Every morning I woke up, rolled onto my back and checked to make sure that my hip and rib bones were protruding, that I could fit my fingers around my thighs and that the fingers on one hand could fit around my upper arm. Then I would pinch any other areas and lunge my way to the bathroom to weigh myself. Weight loss meant the day began with a smile and some egg whites, weight gain completely ruined the day and I would punish myself with cardio and zero food.

One night , My husband and I had put the two kids to bed and were having a few beers and wines and I got the confidence, that only a couple of wines can give, to blurt out to Dwayne –  “I think I have a problem”. He’s a wonderful supportive man so he simply  asked what he could do to help me and I just requested his support. I’d like to say it all ended there and I stopped, but that would be a lie. I tried…..the time I waited before purging would be a little longer, as I did my best to keep the food I’d eaten in my body and, in addition to this – someone now knew I was unwell. Dwayne was watching my every move, he would look at me funny during a binge and say “ness, what are you doing??” – so I just became better at hiding it. I ate in secret and purged in secret, I lied about what I’d eaten when no one was home. “Oh I had a massive lunch I’m so full” . I was bingeing in the car on the way from work and hiding the rubbish in a neighbours bin, I was purging in public bathrooms – I was disgusted at myself. At my lowest point I weighed 46 kilos and was killing myself to get to 45. I told myself that if I just got to 45 I would be “happy” and would stop.

before 1
At my lowest weight – 46kgs

 

37917099_10156580108744282_2611971398851100672_n
I wanted to weigh less…

When we were moving from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, I found a diary I had kept during this time. It was a very simple journal – calories in versus calories out plus calories burned for the day – the aim? To be in the minus come the end of the day.  A cup of tea, apple, some nuts and one egg white is all I would eat some days with a 2km run on the treadmill, bike ride, lunges, sit-ups, walk and more random exercises. I couldn’t remember being like that, I cried when I read it as it read like someone with an eating disorder and that wasn’t me! Right?
My ED Demon would whisper in my ear that there was nothing wrong with me – my rational brain looked at my  two DAUGHTERS two beautiful, young, developing, influential, curious , ever seeing daughters and I had to kick this for them! So I went to see someone and was diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia nervosa, which really threw me. After some evaluation she decided to admit me to an eating disorder out patient clinic. I wouldn’t have to stay overnight but I would have to go every day, and I would also meet with a dietician. The time came and I didn’t go. I didn’t go because my ED demon told me that I wasn’t skinny enough to get help and when I got down to 45 kilos I would go….maybe.

I now know that an eating disorder is characterised by abnormal or disturbed eating habits – It is a serious mental illness not a lifestyle choice (nedc.com.au) – so telling someone to just stop what they’re doing is about as helpful as telling a woman to stop having her baby when it’s crowning! It ain’t gonna happen!
As the years went on I improved a little, threw away the scales and started training myself to view food as fuel for my body. I wasn’t better, but I was better than I had been.
In 2012, a week before my baby shower and at 31 weeks pregnant my mother  committed suicide. Dwayne worried I would relapse in a big way but the reality was that something actually shifted in me a little. I realised how grateful I was to be alive, to be here for my children, for our bub in my belly. We needed a fresh start – everything horrible that had ever happened to me had happened in Melbourne and that, coupled with my love of the beach and warm weather, led us to the Gold Coast.

In 2013 we moved to Palm Beach, with the help of Foxtel lifestyle show – ‘Location, Location, Location Australia” and I used this opportunity for a fresh start and put my family on an all organic diet (much to my husbands disgust!) I bought a juicer, found some organic shops, became vegetarian and focused on fueling mine, and my children’s bodies with the best nutrition. I think this really helped me- I became obsessed with this instead of the scales and was setting a good example for my Little’s. I picked up my exercise again and was really enjoying what it was doing for how my body FELT! I had a little set back when I decided to train for a fitness model comp- the constant measurements, weighing, food control and pressure to look a certain way by a certain date was the complete OPPOSITE of what I, personally, should have been doing. For me , this kind of training and preparation was extremely triggering and the ED Demon was coming back. So after 12 weeks, I decided I was not going to put myself in that situation and stopped training. I was still only eating a small amount of calories and had no strength or muscle and hated the way it made me feel. I wanted to feel HEALTHY, I wanted to feel STRONG, I wanted to see what my body could DO.

37841048_10156580116789282_1481687803573043200_n
Now – 57kgs

It was literally like a switch flipped and I just wanted to be healthy and live a long, happy life with my children and grandchildren.  I decided to start training with no end goal in sight – except to get stronger, fitter and healthier. There would be no calorie counting, no weigh ins just good food and lots of goal setting involving fitness and strength.
That was 2 years on and I am now 10kgs heavier, actually the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life (non pregnant!) and the fittest I’ve been since I was a kid, getting stronger every month and FEELING so good, so positive and so appreciative of my dear old body for putting up with the shit I put it through and sticking around.

My new obsession, my new sense of control comes from training. I feel I can release all the pain and grief from my past, shut the ED Demon up and feel the rush of endorphins that I got from my ED – by challenging my body physically.
I have a long way to go – I wasted a lot of muscle when I abused my body the way I did – well the way my disorder did – it is an illness I had zero control over, despite thinking I was 100% in control.
I still struggle with the things I have experienced and have days when I get angry and think that if Mum and Dad were still alive everything would be okay, or if I just hadn’t experienced the things I had as a little girl that my development may have been different and thus no mental illness would ever have come into the equation. But you know what? I am who I am DESPITE it all , despite my mental illness….. despite my eating disorder. I am who I am because of it all and I LOVE who I am now – I want to help others, I try to be kind always, I try to look after myself mentally and physically as well as looking after those around me. I make myself a priority and that’s okay. In fact its essential to my well being.

FS Bundall 10.6.18-136
Happiness within

Am I recovered – hell no – I will, for the rest of my life ensure I have help nearby in case I need assistance. By telling my story I hope I can help someone else have an “aha” moment or help someone realise that they’re not alone in this horrible illness.
I’m here to tell you – get help, reach out – it’s okay. It will be okay. You will be okay.
I got you.

FS Bundall 10.6.18-147
Making time for Me

If you or someone you love is struggling with mental illness or disordered eating please seek help!

https://thebutterflyfoundation.org.au/ -support for eating disorders and body image issues

https://www.nedc.com.au/ – eating disorder resources and information

https://www.lifeline.org.au/ – crisis support

 

Uncategorized

M.A.D Fundraiser

 

33204766_10156413422674282_7841297615936290816_n
M.A.D Make A Difference – Supporting local and National Charities

I arranged a Family Fun Day Fundraiser…. It feels like a blur – but it happened and it was a success. What was my motivation for doing this, you may ask?
In 2006 my Father died- suddenly and very unexpectedly from a massive heart attack ,at only 53. Whilst devastating and life changing for all of us, my mother was never able to recover. In 2012 she succumbed to her mental illness and sadly passed away, aged 56. This lit a fire in my belly, as peoples opinions on her illness varied and some were less than understanding!

 

Initially I wanted to support charities that not only support mental illness, and the various forms it comes in, but those charities that raise awareness and get people talking. My hunt for the perfect charity began and I just could not find one that really screamed out to me. That is until I attended a fundraising high Tea for Baby Give Back. I had heard of the charity, told my friends about it, shared it and looked around at home for items that I could donate but I had never considered it as the charity I would fundraise for. I had met the founder and one of the directors through my gym and we trained together, drank together, laughed together and when they popped up tickets for their fundraiser I jumped online to purchase immediately. I mean its great what they do, and you should always support your mates – so that’s what I did. I was not prepared for the tears that welled up and threatened to flow from my eyes as the speeches began and stories from women Baby Give Back had helped, were told. I realised how much of an impact poverty, and the inability to provide for one’s child, could really affect a woman’s mental health! I mean pregnancy is hard enough as it is – imagine not knowing if you will have a roof over your head, or warm clothes for your baby. Where will baby sleep? How will I pay for nappies? What if I can’t breastfeed? How will I afford formula? This charity was here, it was in need and it was SCREAMING my name loud and clear! Whilst not directly a mental health service or charity it certainly aligned with what I wanted to support.

Baby-give-back-directors-2
Baby Give Back Directors Carly, Julie, Ainsley & Kylie

I contacted Julie McBride (BGB director) the week after the fundraiser and let her know that I was going to begin planning a fundraiser, and that I had chosen Baby Give Back as my charity.
I began the months of planning, sending emails and reaching out to local businesses for help. This was the hardest part for me – I am always open to recognising my flaws and one of them is that I am a CONTROL FREAK. I have lived on my own since I was 15 years old and became a mum at 17, so I’m used to doing things my own way and not asking for help. It was so hard to contact businesses to see if they would like to contribute on the day, either by donating for the raffle, or attending with a service on the day. My stomach churned with it and I had constant butterflies awaiting replies. A lot of my emails weren’t returned, many messages were read and not answered, I was hitting walls with locations – and my confidence in my ability to do this was plummeting. But then miraculous things began to happen – businesses were replying and not HESITATING to contribute, in fact they were thrilled to be a part of it and were super supportive of the event. Then I started getting contacted by businesses who were ASKING if they could join in with their business on the day. The event was taking shape and gaining exposure thanks  to the our amazing community sharing on their social media and putting posters up in their local schools and kindy’s. I found a need for a separate page, dedicated purely to making a difference in the world and assisting local and National charities with fundraising events. This is when M.A.D Make a difference was born, and is now a separate page for events, discussions and images of events.
I woke up the morning of the Family Fun day feeling really relaxed and calm. The coffee van arrived, the ponies had turned up, our sweet treats baker was here, our soft play area was being set up, Peppa Pig was waiting in the wings, face painters ready, our hair braider good to go, craft station set, bubbles blowing in the wind and our jumping castle inflated and awaiting the little people! No one had pulled out last minute, everything was looking fantastic and the cars started pulling in. The event was 3 hours long and there was not a person I met who was not smiling and enjoying themselves. This made me happy, but not as happy as seeing the donation box overflowing with nappies, wipes and more ,the raffle ticket jars full of entrant’s tickets – all of this was for BGB and THIS, over anything else made my heart happy.

Some shots from the day – for more head to @m.a.d_make_a_difference__

My people
My family ❤
33023437_10156413422964282_1900746547168018432_n
I had planned on a flowing boho style dress for the event – I never had the time to change, so this what we got people!
33183957_10156413422704282_2777664399542845440_n
Peppa Pig
33149394_10156413423024282_3130584340451295232_n
Giveaways

 

33176611_10156413423934282_7462240170511695872_n
Hair Braiding
33178197_10156413423114282_6875309400337154048_n
Jems soft play
33183966_10156413424509282_1411635761693851648_n
More Face painting
33118878_10156413422804282_8277051550245847040_n
@emmyjae_lake
33137354_10156413422719282_3304322678176874496_n
Pony rides all day

 

33204879_10156413424254282_913482296240111616_n
Obstacle course with Leanne
33243498_10156413424494282_2074236468280164352_n
Jumping Castle
33302278_10156413424379282_5923796753533894656_n
Photo sessions
33365703_10156413422784282_550132370850709504_n
Big Bubbles
33407509_10156413424149282_2278637178827309056_n
Hair braiding
33468420_10156413422979282_210222779235041280_n
Raffle winner
33303713_10156413424054282_7832547998755192832_n
Chill out Zone thanks to @forloveandliving
33303237_10156413424339282_2551438095421538304_n
Craft station
33343082_10156413423489282_8295055945776496640_n
Donations

We had an amazing turnout of around 400 guests at the first Family Fun Day Fundraiser, we gave away over $3000 in raffle prizes and were able to donate $1344 and a boxful of items to the Baby Give Back Team. But there’s something the event raised that is priceless, in my opinion. It raised awareness in our local community about who BGB are, what they do and which support agencies they work with and why it is SO important we continue to support their not for profit charity.
The day would not have been possible without our sponsors, who either donated a service or a product. Please take a second to acknowledge them all and share some love.
I could go on and on all day about the BGB directors and volunteers, the gold coast community, the businesses and my family – so I’ll leave it here with a link to the Baby Give Back website. Here you can read about how it all began and how you can help.

Body is tired, but heart is full – until the next one- Thank you to all who attended<3
Ness xo

 

Our amazing sponsors

 

 

 

Uncategorized

17 and pregnant!

27583921_10156104503344282_304210227_n

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mum. Well okay an actress AND a mum! I loved playing with dolls and babies and would babysit for any one at any time, much to the pleasure of my family and parents friends!

Finding out I was pregnant at 17, was not ideal situation to be in, however as soon as I saw the two little pink lines on my test,  I was in tears, overjoyed and couldn’t wait to start being a Mum! I went out and purchased a second hand copy of “What to expect when you’re expecting”, which I valued as the pregnancy Bible and shall be referred to as The Book from here on in!

I read The Book  from cover to cover and ate everything it said to eat, did everything it said to do and lived in a little pregnancy bubble of happiness and food. Needless to say I went from 48kg – 72kgs in those 9 months and have since realised that I had the metrics wrong and actually ate way too much!

I was very scared to tell my parents and although I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, it wasn’t until I was 8 weeks that I blurted it out to them, in my typical awkward way. I was sitting in their lounge room, trying hard not to vomit or fall asleep, or vomit in my sleep and they knew something was up. I had amazing parents, let’s just get that out there now, and they raised me very well. My dad had the short Scottish temper and was the most likely to blow up, whilst Mum was shy and quiet and rarely raised her voice. To say I was surprised when Mum stood up and blasted me, is an understatement. She couldn’t believe I could be “so stupid” and cried angry tears, as Dad sat back in his chair, uncharacteristically quiet. I didn’t hang around for long and caught the train home, only speaking with them sporadically until after my 18 week scan.  I had disappointed them, as doting parents they had different visions of my future, expectations of what I would become, who I would become, what I would achieve, the experiences I would have. This was NOT on their list. They needed time, I needed time – so I waited.

After my scan I rang the bell to my parents front door, with the ultrasound pictures clutched in my hands. I had found out I was having a girl and I wanted to share it with them, I didn’t care about anything else. They were the first people I wanted to be told about this exciting news. Mum opened the door, Dad was at work, and all the anger, disappointment and sadness was gone – there was an air of peace and acceptance and she hugged me excitedly after hearing the news that she was getting a granddaughter. A parent or Grandparent is not supposed to hope for a particular sex, but Mum admitted in a whisper that this is what she had been hoping for.  She had a bag full of dresses from when I was a baby, that she’d gotten out at some point in that last 10 weeks, so maybe she wasn’t as angry as I first thought. Maybe she felt a tiny bit of excitement too.

My pregnancy was long and exhausting. I had horrible morning sickness from 5 weeks pregnant until around 13 weeks and basically ate, slept and vomited for those first few months. The second trimester was much more enjoyable as my belly started to show physically, and move around as my baby did. I was able to get out and about more and spent a lot of days visiting my Gran and Mum on the tram. That being said I was still extremely tired – I had never felt such tiredness in my life and was a sleep early at night, slept in in the mornings and if I didn’t head out for the day, I would sleep the day away as well.

I did not exercise, I ate well but a lot (I ate the amounts in the book told me too! Books fault, not mine that I had it all wrong….right?) so I basically ate and slept and by the end of my pregnancy I felt horrible. My skin was pale and oily,  my hair needed doing (but the The Book said not to dye it!!) and the baby was taking everything from me so I was like a ghost….. except a very chubby one! I did not glow or radiate gorgeous pregnancy at all and I can laugh about it now – but gosh I felt awful. Like a completely different person, not the 17 year old fit healthy teen I had been months prior.

On the 2nd of September 1998, at 3pm – 17 years 10 months old, my water broke and my labor began.

The Book had described labour as a long process with contractions beginning at around ten minute intervals which would get closer  together as dilation occurred. The Book lied guys! It lied to me! For my ENTIRE 10 hour labour my contractions were 40 secs long and 1 minute apart. I thought I was going to die, I thought something was wrong but I didn’t and there wasn’t and on the 3rd September 1998 Shealee Amy was born.

After 5 days in hospital my parents brought me home, still in my maternity pants and still in a world of pain. They helped me settle in, they waited until I had changed the first nappy and first breastfeed at home and then …..they left. There I was, 17 and a mum. Alone in a big quiet house with this tiny baby in my arms- left to let nature guide me in what I needed to do. I stared into my daughters beautiful sleeping face and felt assured that we were going to figure this out together.

I was so in love -I couldn’t believe my heart hadn’t physically exploded with the love I felt for this tiny human. She was all I had ever wanted and I felt complete.  We co slept ,despite The Book and the midwives advising against it, and I breastfed on demand, despite The Books “rules”. We barely left the house and just slept and fed a lot, in between the soaking of cloth nappies! It was exhausting, but I went for daily walks and mastered getting the pram onto the tram with as little fuss as possible! I was feeling more like myself again, and I cut and dyed my hair so yeah……that helps!

I often get asked about my social life as a teenage mother. I mean I am still a teenager right? I should  be hanging out with friends and experiencing things that other teenagers do, but to be honest I didn’t have many friends left and I didn’t want to leave my baby. I’m not going to sit here and blame people for”abandoning” me or not being true friends – I’m not a victim here. I spent 9 months in a bubble of vomiting and sleep and I rarely contacted anyone. Whilst I was giving birth my friends were finising highschool and heading off to uni or off onoverseas adventures. We were living different lives and we drifted apart and that’s okay 🙂 I didn’t feel like a”regular” teenager and I didn’t really feel like surrounding myself with other teens, so I joined the local mothers group. Here I met my first new bunch of friends ranging in age from 21-42 and I felt like I fit here – Like I belonged. I didn’t feel like a disappointment or a loser – I was welcomed with open arms and remained close to one of these women for over a decade after the mothers group dissipated.

Financially –  being a young mum was tough. I couldn’t work outside the home – I relied fully on public transport, I didn’t want to leave my baby, and child care fees were super expensive, even back then. I often felt judged and would style my hair and dress older than my age to avoid the looks of disadain. I found most people assumed teen mothers were not good mothers, that they left their babies to go out all the time, that they didn’t want to become mums and hated their lives.  I did NOT want to be viewed in this way as  despite my age, I was loving life as a mum more than I could ever imagine possible.

School enrolments and parent teacher interviews were always interesting, as I was always the youngest mum there. I always made an effort to address everyone with  confidence, I mean I truly believed in myself and my abilities as a parent. I always aged up instead of down, which I still catchmyself doing even now! Come June I’ll be telling everyone I’m 38, despite being 37 until November!

I knew I would want my children to finish school and wanted to lead by example so at 21 years old, with a baby (Kiah) and toddler (Shealee) I completed year 12.  I also returned to acting and modeling ,on a very small scale, participating in student movies, small features and extra work – just to keep my toe in the water 😉 It was also nice to be doing something for me, contributing financially and have work outside of the home with actual ADULTS!

I have a beautiful 19 year old daughter now, and I would not change that for the world. That being said, I have told both my teenage daughters to hold off on the making of the babies! I want them to work, travel, find love, lose love, explore, have fun and enjoy the youth they have without the finaincial burdens, exhaustion and feelings of isolation that comes with being a teen Mum.

And you know what? My girls get it! They want their freedom and youth and to achieve great things personally, before they give themselves selflessly to another tiny being and I am so proud!

I would not be who I am today without the experiences I have had and I would not have the awesome relationship I have with Shealee if anything had been any different.

Everything happens for a reason and my gran would always say to me “Ness, you are just born to be a mummy. Everything will come later if its meant to be”. And whilst my idea of success had once been in relation to my career, I now realise that the journey into motherhood ,and the babes I hold in my arms, are the greatest example of success I could ever have hoped for.

Blogs, Uncategorized

Let’s Meet!

You’re here! Thank you so much for joining me on this little journey called life.

My family and I moved here, to The Gold Coast, from Melbourne in 2013 with the TV series Location, Location, Location Australia (Foxtel) and have never looked back.

LLLA episode sneak peek

I recently returned to Instagram and have found an amazing community of people to laugh and discuss with , which has brought me to this blog!

I find writing very therapeutic, I always have, and even set to work on writing a novel in my teens! I am quite awkward, shorter in real life than I appear in photos, a bit clumsy, passionately loving ( I also have a “passionate” temper), have abnormally long arms for my body, a crooked smile and a head full of thoughts.

Gold Coast musings is not a blog based around one subject. I have so much I believe in and I feel needs to be talked about in an open, honest, raw and real manner and I hope you will all engage with me in some awesome discussions on love, motherhood/fatherhood/parenthood, teen parenting, disordered thinking around food, mental illness, fitness, fashion and more on mental illness (‘coz it needs to be talked about a lot more in a more honest fashion)

If you’ve read this far – I thank you! Welcome the GCM family and I cant wait to get talking the real talk – my version of events, and learn from you all!

Ness xo

Join us on Instagram!

We only get one life – let’s not muck around!