Spinifex Baby

Spinifex Baby Larger

A couple of nights ago I found myself rushing around madly, picking up piles of toys and clothes off the floor and trying to make some sort of a dent in the piles of dust on our furniture. A newspaper journalist and photographer were coming the following day to write an article on our family for their Saturday Magazine, even the kids were recruited into a blur of vacuuming and tidying.

Suddenly, I stopped. I realised that I was buying into that feeling that I had to present a perfect ‘face’ to the world. It’s that feeling of looking into other people’s seemingly perfect worlds, that set me up for disappointment in myself when I had children. To my surprise, it wasn’t like it seemed to be for everyone else, and I found it really tough becoming a mother. Now, three children later, I know it is tough for everyone, at times, and in different ways. I am really lucky to have a life so full of opportunities and joy, if the paper wants to tell our story, it will have to be with hand printed windows and messy children.

This is the message I have tried to share in my book, ‘Spinifex Baby’, which is about having our baby while living in the Simpson Desert. The idea that parenting can be tough, but that’s OK. It can be wonderful as well. Also, if you have someone other than a camel to talk to about it, it’s probably a good idea. The false fa├žade we tend to show to the world doesn’t do anyone any favours. Spinifex Baby has been shortlisted for the Finch memoir prize, to be announced at the Sydney Writers Festival at the end of May. Winning will mean it gets published. Fingers crossed…

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