I’m not sure why it struck me all those years, but it did a piece of parental advice via bloke who had watched the DVD box set of Oprah’s 25th year. I’m not sure if it was a testimonial of the show or the box set but dressed in brown plaid his image stayed with me as stood in the audience and thanked her.

I was standing on our verandah, heavily pregnant with our first child hanging out the washing. I remember him having tears in his eyes which is why I probably stopped and listened because he said this one piece of advice changed his whole perception of how he interacted and parented his children. He was thankful for this piece of knowledge and so, in turn, am I. I took that advice; his aha moment that day, and stored it away for the baby kicking furiously in my belly, and used it as my own.

The advice simple enough was from Toni Morrison, the author of ‘The Bluest Eyes’. The episode a book club interview on Oprah.

Oprah says, “Toni says a beautiful thing about the messages that we get about who we are when a child first walks into a room,” 
She then asks Ms. Morrison to talk about it.

Ms. Morrison explained that it’s interesting to watch what happens when a child walks into a room. She asked Oprah, “Does your face light up?”

Morrison explains, “When my children used to walk in the room when they were little, I looked at them to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up. . . . You think your affection and your deep love is on display because you’re caring for them. It’s not. When they see you, they see the critical face. What’s wrong now?” Morrison continued with, “Let your face speak what’s in your heart. When they walk in the room, my face says I’m glad to see them. It’s just as small as that, you see?”

So the piece of advice I try {Im not perfect I think we have all come to learn that} to consciously use whenever one of my children walks into a room I smile at them even when the world is not smiling with me because no matter how cranky they have made me, how physically tired and emotionally spent I am I will always be glad to see them.




{a fifo wife} a few things

by debbie on October 15, 2016


So how was everyone’s school holidays? Ours were so much fun. We had planned to take a relocation van back to Sydney, but there was a slight change in plans after receiving word that I had to head to NZ to help out some family but that’s okay. We took our budget; spent it locally doing things we had wanted to do but never had the time or thought, and it was fantastic. My father was with us, and it was so lovely to be able to have the kids spend quality time with him. There was go cart racing, camping in one of the world’s oldest rainforests and then zip lining its dense canopies. Along the way, sight seeing in iconic Port Douglas and along with a trip to the city and movies.  The kids, I think are exhausted as was I but here are some a few things that caught my attention.

The kids, I think are exhausted as was I but here are some a few things that caught my attention on the web this past fornight.

1. The world’s first three parented child is delivered. Here.

2. How to master Asian cooking. Here.

3. 100 ways to be more organized. Here.

4. Find your lost cash. Here.

5. Rubi Shoes is having a sale i Shoes MY: Sale Items: Up To 70% off

Have a great weekend.



{a fifo wife} how to help a stressed out partner.

by debbie on September 21, 2016


When you meet my husband, it’s hard to imagine he ever gets stressed. He is one of those men that have their shite together, how he got so lucky and married me I don’t know, but he did and so over the past 17 years we have taught each other more things than Wikipedia teaches you explaining the gist of Game of thrones. This is especially so with this relationship business and how to have a grown-up one.

So previous to being a grown up when my husband was stressed, went quiet and withdrew it would drive me insane. I would say he was sulking, being an idiot and complete doosh bag. Then one day, not overnight, I grew up, and I handle his stressful moments a lot better because it occurred to me it was not about me rather all about him and to think it was me, kind of made me self-centered. Especially when he had said what the problem was and it didn’t involve me but some big hairy bugger giving him grief.

Now because I’m an oversharer and we have just come out of a ‘stressful’ situation here are some tips on how to handle things when your partner is stressed out. It is no particular order and I’m not a professional.

  1. Don’t take their behavior when they are stressed out personally. When stressed everyone reacts differently. I like to eat, not sleep, over think, yell and on occasion run, he likes to withdraw and think- crazy I know. Which for a slightly neurotic girl like myself naturally meant one thing; it was my fault. Him not being able to talk to me in that moment means I would completely take it personally and hound the shite of him. Surprisingly this made the whole situation worse.
  2. Give them what they need. For most blokes, this is space and some time to brood in their man cave with their TV remote, lawn mower or shed. For women, it’s a packet of Tim Tams, a run at the gym or a natter with another woman. I think as long as they tell you what the issue is its fine for them to brood, eat or withdraw for a reasonable amount of time. Although if they are stressed for too long something needs to be said regarding getting help or clarity with delicacy or not depending on their personality and in extreme cases appointments made.
  3. Don’t take their need to tell someone else before you personally. There is a usually an excellent reason for it, especially in a close relationship. As long as they tell you, I think it’s okay to speak with someone else. I wrote about it here but consider the circumstance before getting hurt about them not talking to your first.
  4. Don’t try to fix the situation for them. This attempt at fixing makes it worse; trust me. We don’t need to repeat the scenario, but it makes it worse and you look like a dick. No one can fix a ‘stress’ other than the ‘stressee.’ To try and fix the stress just creates a whole new level of stress. As hard as it is to watch on don’t touch it. It’s a lesson only they can learn from unless you interfere and then it becomes yours.
  5. Ask them what they want you to do. My husband requires nothing usually but for me to just listen when his ready and I have learnt now to be patient. Whereas I like to eat, lose sleep, cry, verbally vomit and then want to be left alone while I regain my composure and the energy from the said stress.

Best of luck.





{a fifo wife} Four little words

by debbie on September 13, 2016


Why have you pulled us out of school Mum? he asked as I reversed down our drive.

Well, I said concentrating on not running off the drive I won’t be home in time to collect you from school, I don’t like going to Cairns on my own anymore and I really really like your company.

I looked at him the at his brothers one by one.

Is that okay? I asked.

The smiles that went across their faces as they said in unison you like our company? was one I won’t forget.

Heck yes, I said. Your great boys. Your funny and sweet. I like being around you and one day when I don’t have to be your parent 24/7 we are going to be the best of friends.

Nothing else was said after that but smiles said it all and whilst I yelled or parented with confidence as I prefer to call it  that afternoon, those words “I like your company” changed my family again- for the better.








A few months ago I was talking with my husband about the issues I {we} were having with our son at school. He was at work, I was at home, and I was a wee stressed over the whole shebang. I was losing sleep over it as you do and having cried and sobbed my way through the conversation I finally said after a huge sigh but how are you? I’m okay he answered and yet I knew he wasn’t so I asked again.

I’m okay he answered and yet I knew he wasn’t so I asked again.

I can’t say he said.

Why not I said to him.

He replied because If I tell you my problems we are not focusing on yours and B1’s, and that’s adding to your load, not solving the current one. You and B1 are currently more important, so I want you to focus on that. My issues can wait. You can’t focus on him if you are focusing on me.

Now normally being the seeker I am, I would have hounded him to tell me, but the truth was he was right. At that very point in time, I didn’t have the capacity support to him in a way that would have been productive {or healthy} for him or me. I loved him for recognising and understanding that it wasn’t that I was being selfish, I wasn’t not wanting to help or share the load its just I couldn’t. I wasn’t able to be his confident and ear at that point because I was being B1’s and my own whilst dealing with no sleep.

So a few days later once we had sorted out B1’s issues I said hows things what was up the other day? And true to his word he spoke about everything that had been bothering him, and I at that moment I was able to give him my complete support and attention.

I would like to think that if the problem were pressing he would have spoken up or talked to someone else he trusts like a friend or colleague because sometimes you can’t support each other at the same time. This is when self-care comes in. In hindsight, this is something I have been doing for my husband for along time. If I know he can’t fix the problem or I think it will cause additional worry when he can’t do anything because he is in the middle of the ocean I won’t tell him until I have it at point where I can tell him but I will always tell him because not to creates something between us and it doesn’t sit right with me- for us, but each relationship and dynamic is different.

Ensuring you tell someone halves the load science tells us that. So telling a trusted friend a problem or gaining support from and outside source until you can share it with your partner is not a bad thing; its taking care or your mental health as well as theirs. Being entirely dependent on your partner for everything is not healthy not only for them but you. In a today’s modern lifestyle, I think we depend far too much on our spouses for everything. I think sharing the load between family and friends is good for everyone involved, it builds relationships, community and that can only be a good thing. Humans thrive on community science shows that too.

So when my husband says I can’t tell you right now, I’m completely cool with that. We can’t be everything to everyone all at once.


Life line 131114.