Friday, November 16, 2012

New Blog!

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've blogged but I've been very busy expanding my family, writing and generally being very busy. I've launched a new blog now and I hope you pop over and join over there. You can find me at See you soon! Nic x

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Are you talking to me?

So here I go again.

I've already had my say about the state of advertising to mothers of young children (see magazine column below).

But being pregnant with my second child and mum to a now active toddler - things aren't looking any better.

Yes, I run around after a tot, cook batches of baby food (and have it thrown back at me) and bulk shop, yet I don't find myself relating to TV mums... in fact I find myself recoiling.

Woolworths advertisements are the latest offerings to cause me to cringe.

In particular the mother who makes "orange pasta" and the one who makes "plus or minus" Chicken Cacciatore as the phone continues to ring. Cringe.

And what about Continental Twisty Pasta.

The baggy shirt tucked into long skirt managed to transform Caroline Brazier (Julie's sexy best friend from Packed to the Rafter) into someone barely recognisable.

Unfortunately (for me) one ad I can relate to is the one for Everyday Rewards cards with woman who "spends every day doing everything" for her family.

Yet while I do know the feeling of a hectic day, somehow I don't I find myself sipping coffee, smug look upon my face, at the end of a busy day...

Now why is that?

SKINNY JEANS AND SHOWER POWER (Trespass Magazine, December '09)

Twelve months ago, I was working full-time as a television reporter. I was into fashion, read books, loved music, discussed current affairs. I coloured my hair, wore a bikini, watched the news and looked forward to a good party.

I’ve since left my full-time gig in favour of freelance, to be home with my baby boy. Other than that, not much has changed… except maybe my comfort level in a bikini, and the frequency in which I attend said parties.

I have, of course, entered a new demographic. I’m now a mum, who happens to spend a lot more time at home. I still dress the same, think the same, crack the same jokes … yet when I flick on the telly I’m left wondering if I missed the part where new mums are required to enter a phone booth to be transformed into Mrs Brady.

Now I know most chick-flicks and TV dramas are full of yummy-mummies and ultra-cool mamas, but when it comes to commercials aimed at us real mums, it’s a different story. Clearly, mums are the target market for a lot of consumer goods, so there’s no shortage of ads, all aimed at the likes of me. Apparently.

Now I need Shower Power as much as the next mum, but when I watch these ads, it’s not me I see. I see a mumsy bunch, with matching pony tails, three quarter jeans and collared shirts.

Does giving birth and taking on a few home duties mean the end of skinny jeans, summer dresses and high heels?

But it’s not just the daggy dress code that leaves me cringing. I don't know about you other mums out there, but I don't use a magnifying glass to clean my toilet, and I don’t inwardly gloat when my friends use the bright white bowl.

I don’t use phrases like “not in my house” when I see finger prints on the stainless steel. And I do not feel smug about the mess my chicken stock meal has made (Tess and her REAL family I find particularly annoying!)

Don’t get me wrong, I wear trackies with the best of them. I cook, clean, compare nappy brands, even bake the odd batch of muffins - but I do it in my denim cutoffs listening to Groove Armada dammit.

And once it’s done I’m off to play with my son, or read a book, or call a friend, or go shopping. These ads would have you believe the sparkle of the shower floor is a daily highlight. And if a neighbour stops by and happens to witness the sparkle, well, even better!

Am I alone in my frustration, I wonder? Are my shiny bathroom taps really enough to make my friends green with envy? Do they watch these TV mums with an understanding nod, or find the stereotype as irritating as I do?

Do most mums spend their day worrying about that stain they saw on hubby’s shirt as he walked out the door? Or do they see the stain, deal with it and move onto more important things.

More likely, there’s no such thing as an average mum. At the end of the day, we’re all human.

Now - time to try that new stain remover.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

When God Created Mothers...

Mother's Day is just around the corner.

It's my second as a mother myself. By next year, I'll have two children.

Motherhood isn't easy - but I have an amazing role model...

As usual with this time of year, I've been thinking a lot about my own mum.

About how lucky I am to have her in my life - as all we daughters and sons are - and how I, like many, don't tell her enough.

But it's difficult to put into words just how important our mothers actually are.

My own mum is so much more to me than her title would suggest - she is my mum, but she's also my mentor, my advisor, my idol, my companion, my best friend.

Always there during good times - and bad.

And still seems to manage to "make everything better" - even now, when any problem I burden her with is far more complicated than a sore knee or a bad day at school.

Which reminds me of a piece about mothers I simply love. My father had a copy framed for my mum many years ago and the words always stuck with me...

Happy Mother's Day mum.

When God Created Mothers

When the good Lord was creating mothers He was into His sixth day of "overtime" when the angel appeared and said, "You’re doing a lot of fiddling around this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the specs on this order? She has to be completely washable, but not plastic; Have 180 moveable parts... all replaceable; Run on black coffee and leftovers; Have a lap that disappears when she stands up; A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair; And six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of hands... no way."

"It’s not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord. "It’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have."

"That’s on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. "One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, "What are you kids doing in there?" when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say, "I understand and I Love You" without so much as uttering a word."

"Lord", said the angel, toughing His sleeve gently, "Come to bed. Tomorrow..."

"I can’t," said the Lord, "I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick... can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger... and can get a nine-year-old to stand under a shower."

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. "It’s too soft," she sighed.

"But tough!" said the Lord excitedly. "You cannot imagine what this mother can do or endure."

"Can it think?"

"Not only think, but it can reason and compromise," said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek. "There’s a leak," she pronounced. "I told You. You were trying to put too much into this model."

"It’s not a leak," said the Lord, "it’s a tear."

"What’s it for?"

"It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride."

"You are a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn’t put it there."

- Erma Louise Bombeck

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Modern Woman's Anthology

I'm proud to be contributing to The Modern Woman’s Anthology 2010 ... so here is the latest information - including the front cover!

Prominent Australian women pen their musings on womanhood to raise vital funds for mental health

Some of Australia’s most talented, successful and inspiring women have banded together to raise vital funds for and raise awareness of mental health. The Modern Woman's Anthology 2010 is an extraordinary literary project which brings together a unique collection of their stories, musings and memoirs.

Contributing writers include: Olympian Cathy Freeman, Media Commentator and Doctor Dr Cindy Pan and Chairman and Executive Director of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation Dr. Gene Sherman to name a few.

All of the female writers vary in age, background and ethnicity and the pieces in the anthology range from a simple anecdote to a more personal story about the loss of a family member – some are touching, some reflective and others are just plain funny.

Each story reveals something about their commonality – womanhood. The theme of The Modern Woman’s Anthology 2010 is universal, Woman in the Modern World.

Story telling comes naturally to contributors like Libby Hathorn (award winning Children's Writer) and Kathryn Eisman (Author and Media Personality). Others, including Cathy Freeman and Kate Leeming (Adventurer), had never written before but have bravely and eloquently tackled the challenge, writing from the heart for a cause which has touched their lives.

The anthology project began when Sydney journalist Leah Greengarten, 28, decided to create a permanent record of the personal stories from the women who had inspired and touched her life.

“The idea came about after spending a week at a writers’ retreat in the Blue Mountains. I was surrounded by amazing woman with fascinating stories. An anthology seemed the perfect place to record them. The project is also very close to my heart as all proceeds go to Black Dog Institute to help assist with their priceless work for mental health,” she said.

The World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the number one cause of disability in both the developed and developing worlds by 2030.

“Mental Health issues affect up to 25 percent (or one in four) Australian women. We are really excited to be involved in this remarkable literary collaboration. The funds raised will go towards research and supporting those Australians with mental health issues”, said Professor Gordon Parker, Executive Director of the Black Dog Institute.

All proceeds from the sale of The Modern Woman’s Anthology 2010 will be donated to Black Dog Institute.

The Modern Woman’s Anthology 2010 will be launched at Customs House Library on Tuesday 22nd June, 2010 with a welcome speech by Therese Rein, prominent businesswoman and wife of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Modern Woman’s Anthology 2010 RRP: 29.95

For more information please go to:

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Modern Woman's Anthology

I am proud to be contributing to an exciting Australian literary project.

The Modern Woman’s Anthology was compiled by Leah Greengarten to raise money for mental health.

All proceeds from the sales of the anthology will be donated to the Black Dog Institute, a not-for-profit, educational, research, clinical and community-oriented facility offering specialist expertise in depression and bipolar disorder.

All of the Australian writers vary in age, background, ethnicity and prominence and each story reveals something about womanhood.

The theme is universal – Woman In The Modern World.

Twenty inspirational female writers have been asked to write a piece for the anthology.

The anthology will launched by Therese Rein at Customs House on the 22nd of June, 2010.

Please support the cause by visiting THE MODERN WOMAN'S ANTHOLOGY.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My younger self...

If I were to meet my younger self, I wonder... what would I say?

Would I share with me, some of life's truths - truths I was blissfully unaware of as a child?

Would I tell myself that the old cliche "life wasn't meant to be easy" has more validity than it seems?

That things won't always be ok, and parents can't fix everything after all?

Would I let myself know that life's journey isn't always as you planned it?

And that twists and turns appear before you, when you least expect it?

No, I don't think I would...

Instead I'd tell my younger self that life is a gift - treasure it and enjoy it.

That life is what you make it, family is everything and things will be ok.

I'd tell myself to continue living life as though it's perfect and to cherish every moment shared with loved ones.

To refrain from over-analysing and enjoy the innocence that youth brings.

I'd tell myself to never forget that feeling of invisibility.

And to always remember what matters in life - health, happiness, family, love.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Insult to injury for IVF parents...

New legislation has been introduced by the Victorian government, requiring all prospective IVF patients to have criminal background checks to ensure they have no previous history of violent or sexual crimes.

*read story here*

Unsurprisingly, the legislation has outraged parents of babies conceived through IVF and those about to commence the process.

IVF pioneer Professor Gab Kovacs of Monash IVF in Melbourne told the checks were "stupid."

"We talk about practising evidence-based medicine, I think it's time that the politicians practiced evidence-based legislation.

"Unless we're going to do this for all couples, and every couple has to have a police check and a child abuse check before they got pregnant, I believe this is very discriminatory against couples with fertility problems," he said.

IVF is a miraculous technology, allowing couples experiencing fertility problems to conceive a child of their own.

While IVF is indeed a blessing, the experience is physically and emotionally draining, offering no guarantees - and far from a quick fix for potential abusers.

Says Sandra Dill, from the group ACCESS, which represents IVF parents and patients: "If the Government was genuinely sincere about protecting or acting in the best interest of children as they've claimed, then they would require every man and every woman to undergo a police check before they take their baby home from hospital."

About Me

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Nicole is an Australian journalist, presenter and communications consultant. She spent several years as a News Limited journalist, writing for a variety of local newspapers and magazines. Following this, Nicole was a reporter and presenter with the Nine Network, filing stories for Brisbane magazine program Extra, lifestyle show Weekend Extra and National Nine News. She is now a freelance journalist, writing for a variety of publications. Her special interests are features, lifestyle, current affairs, women, parenting/family and health. Nicole is also a public relations and communications consultant.
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