Louisa Claire

Read more posted in September, 2011

Why You Should Go And See Jenny Wynter In The Fringe Festival

On Tuesday night The Architect and I went off to see The Unexpected Variety Show starring Jenny Wynter. I spent the day with a shocking headache and came very close to cancelling the plans but, desperate to get out of the house, I decided to plough on.

I am so very glad I did!

Jenny Wynter, Unexpected Variety Show

It was hilarious!

The Unexpected Variety Show tells you the story of Jenny’s life and her journey into motherhood – she talks about all “those” moments of mothering and about the childhood dreams and how they don’t always turn out the way you expected, with humour and candour.

I laughed and teared up and greatly respected her ability to tell this story without being snarky. She’s completely hilarious and it doesn’t come at anyone else’s expense. I loved that! That takes talent!

She is passionate, poignant & truly funny!

But what has this got to do with you? Well, I really want you to go and see it too. Why?

It’s not just because it’s funny, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll also get out of the house for a night! It’s because Jenny is a Mum, probably just like you or your Mum. She’s raising children and pursuing her dream and she’s darn good at it! Going to see Jenny will give you not just a great night out but also be an opportunity to support a fellow Mum.

It’s hard to raise your profile as a comedian and as Jenny shared on her Facebook page she had an audience of 6 on Wednesday night but/and they gave her a standing ovation! So get your husband*, or better yet make him babysit and grab some girlfriends, grab a ticket (only $20) and head out for a fun night supporting another Mummy.

If you don’t believe it’s worth it, check out what Amanda from Mad Cow’s Diary had to say about the performance here.

Follow Jenny on twitter, Facebook and her blog

Performance Details:

The Unexpected Variety Show
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Revolt Melbourne
12 Elizabeth Street, Kensington
27 September – 9 October
Tues-Sat 7.30pm (60 minutes) Sun 4.30pm
Full: $20, Concession: $15
Buy tix here.


*The Architect told me he wants to share his thoughts about the performance but he’s not answering the phone at the moment so will update the post later. Suffice to say, he thought it was brilliant and was raving about it at dinner with his family last night.

Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to attend this performance and am writing about it because it was a genuinely fantastic experience and I’d love to you know about and experience it yourself.


The Problem With Feminism

Before you think I am about to promote some ideal of the 1950s housewife who should be happy when her husband doesn’t cheat on her or beat her, relax. I’m not.

I’m also not going to pretend that I am able to fully comprehend how much life has changed for women in the west over the past 40 years.

I know and admire the women (and men) who decided that things needed to change, and who set about advocating for and creating that change often at great personal cost. Their stories are inspiring and I am grateful that we live in a society that is much more amenable to the concepts of equality (but I’m not going to pretend that they have been totally achieved as yet).

Feminism advocates for equal opportunity, and political, economic and social rights.

One practical implication of this has been the belief that women should be able to pursue their dreams and goals just as much as a men and that a mother who wants to have a successful career, should be able to pursue that – she is no long expected to be tied to the kitchen stove.

And that’s the problem I have with feminism – the message that our individual needs are more important than the corporate.

What would our society look like if the message had been:  Family and children matter, they are worthy of our time and personal investment and doing this comes with sacrifice from both women and men.

What would it look like if instead of moving women into a “man’s world”, we had advocated moving men back into the home as active and engaged fathers and husbands? And I don’t just mean making them change some nappies, but I mean a radical upturning of the way men think about and are expected to operate in family life.

Most men don’t think they can “have it all”  – they are taught that their role in life is not just to be breadwinners, but to have successful careers.

The other day I linked over to a speech by a British headmistress from Crash Test Mummy’s post about Having It All.

From the moment these little girls toddled into nursery school, we’ve been teaching them that their ambitions should have no limits.
We’ve told them there’s absolutely nothing that men can do that they can’t do at least as well. And they’ve proved it – girls now outperform boys at every academic stage.
We’ve told our daughters that nothing need stand in their way – not relationships, not marriage and certainly not children.
And, being ambitious, hard-working girls, they’ve learned the lesson only too well.
The young women we are sending out into the world believe they can have it all – and, if they don’t, they will have failed.
And what a tragedy that is, because the truth is that modern women can’t have it all. They may succeed in their careers and they may succeed as mothers, but to do both at the same time? No, that is not possible without making huge sacrifices which many will find simply too much.

My first reaction to that speech is a resounding yes. It is entirely unhelpful to proclaim to women that they can have it all, all the time.

My second reaction is that why is this still a woman’s problem?

It seems to me that the gap in the “equality movement” has been in how to better involve men in the life of family between the weekday hours of 7am-7pm. Western culture still largely requires that in order to get to the top, men and women must work long hours. Western Culture still largely advocates “getting to the top” as a priority. And so it is that large numbers of parents are spending their years as parents to young children, putting in the long hours to move up the ranks. That is, unless that have put off having children until they are in their late 30s, early 40s and then they experience a different raft of pressures and challenges

This issue isn’t easily overcome.

I live in a part of Melbourne that challenges me about this a lot. I’m just down the road from Reservoir Dad and I regularly see Dads out with their kids mid-week. It’s not uncommon for me to go to  Mother’s Group and for one of the Dad’s to be there, many of the families in our mother’s group job-share, both working part-time and looking after the kids part-time. It’s normal over here to do that and that’s one of the values we love about this area that influenced our decision to move here.  This is a very controversial statement but I’m going to put it out there – there are parts of Melbourne and Sydney and probably every other city in the world who talk a lot about “family values”, all while working 80hour weeks and living in beautiful houses having wonderful holidays. Then there are people, like the people I see around here every day, who never talk about “family values” – they just live them.

Can’t tell you how challenging this is for me (and us).

Bring it!

What do you think? How do you do it in your family?


12WBT Day 1 Review

It’s the end of 12WBT Day 1 and this is what I know

– the food is delicious!

– 1200 calories doesn’t go far (or as far as I would like),

– I spent more time that I should have dreaming about what food I wanted to be eating,

– I felt extra cranky with my kids tonight, not being able to snack through the dinner routine, I’ll need to work on that.

– The wine taunted me from the fridge tonight….

– There are the same number of calories in a punnet of strawberries, a skinny latte, a tub of 5AM low fat strawberry yoghurt and a small cinnamon donut!

– I want the latte but, the strawberries or strawberry yoghurt would be better

– The excercise is going to be the hard bit

I feel really good and motivated!

As I sat dreaming of the food I’d like to eat, or drinks I’d like to drink I happened to look down and thought – I’ve started! I’m doing something now and that’s what I need to keep the focus on.

Heart Rate Monitor should arrive tomorrow – looking forward to getting moving!


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The Mission Of A Mother

no perfect mother


I can be an idealist when it comes to motherhood.

If the past few years have taught me anything about motherhood, it’s that idealism is dangerous.

Have ideals, but don’t measure your success against them.

When I have a great day with the kids I think “Win!” and when don’t I think “Fail”. While I can see how crazy that is, that doesn’t stop me from swinging from the highs that come with the great days and moments of motherhood to the depths of “why am I a such a crap Mum?!”

As I’ve mentioned many times, I had a very idealistic vision of what motherhood would look like for me, and to date very little of that picture has come to fruition.

I need a new picture.

So I’m creating for myself a challenge. To think about me – about the things I believe matter, and that I want to prioritise – not what others do or what my kids my want but what matters to me in being a Mum.

And I’m starting now.

What I want to do is write a motherhood mission statement. I want a mission statement that gives me a picture of what I am trying to achieve as a Mum – the values and practices that matter most to me so that when I am tempted to feel like I am failing, I have something realistic and tangible to measure myself against. I want to see the real wins for what they are, and same for the times I feel like I’m not doing a good job.

I’m going to get started right here on my blog and I’d love your input, I’m even going to invite you to join in with me. I am so excited about this!

A mission statement is something enduring – it’s not bound to a stage of parenting or a season of life but incorporates your goals.

Week 1 Challenge: What are the words that come to mind when you think about the Mum you want to be?

Before I can form a new picture of motherhood for myself, I need to work out the things that matter to me. I’m going to do that via a list of words because that’s how I work, but images or songs or anything could be used for this.

Some of the words that come to mind are faithful, fun, secure…

I’m no Seven Cherubs motherhood guru, but this is important to me. I need to do something proactive to change my mindset about myself as a Mum.

If you would like to join in please let me know in the comments. If you don’t have a blog but want to join in you can do so in the comments too – or keep a journal and just check in with me to let me know how you are going.

Update: I will put a link up next Monday so if you feel like joining in and sharing your words please do – I’ll also post mine and share the second step :)



12WBT and Me.

I’ve mentioned before that I am going to take part in Michelle Bridge’s 12 Week Body Transformation at the encouragement of Sarah and after reading Mummy Smiles’ blog post about her experience. She encouraged me in that post to do it even if I didn’t think  I would manage such a huge exercise regime because the food side alone can make a huge difference. I was excited! I signed up a couple of weeks ago and to be honest, did nothing about it. I was starting to wonder if I would every actually get into it when I got this email… 12WBT, 12 week body transformation I am paying by the week and seeing that email drop into my inbox was a good motivator to get online, sign up in the forum and check it out and WOW, some of the stories about this program are really inspired. In addition to Mummy Smiles, I found the photos and story that Donna from Creative Controller shared really inspiring. I am going to blog the journey as a form of accountability. I am going to keep the focus of the post real but upbeat – I want to keep a positive focus and also make this a positive place for any other 12WBTers who stumble across it. Week 1 starts on Monday and at the moment The Architect and Bliss are at the market doing the grocery shop. The food looks really yum so I am feeling inspired on that front. As for the exercise, it’s going to be a big jump going from nothing to 6 days a week but I’m going to give it a go and I’m going to just take it one day at a time. This is my goal…this photo was taken in Vientam in September 2009. Bliss was 18months old and I had lost 16kgs in the 9 months prior to this photo being taken…I felt great! When I look at this photo I know I’ve done it before and I can do it again. This photo needs to stay at the front of my mind… Here I am in a similar dress, one I had made while in Vietnam….it’s not looking so great right now… 12WBT before, If I’m feeling brave I will post a weekly updated photo…. I know I can do this, but I know it’s going to be hard work – the biggest challenge being ME and my mindset. The mindset that says “tomorrow is a new day”. Today is new day too! I’ve got a big mental adjustment to do and the only way it’s going to happen is if I am intentional about and make time for it. Wish me luck? Oh and you might enjoy a little bit of eye candy….these Sacha Drake dresses are on my wish list…. for after. Sacha Drake Ciao Bella’s. I’m off to finish the pre-season reading and tasks…

Since writing this post I’ve been trying to read through some other blog posts about the 12WBT and thought that an easier way to keep in touch with other journeys could be through linking up so…if you’re blogging your journey please feel free to share your latest post with me below.

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Mothers & Daughters

Sometimes you have a moment that just must be recorded. Tonight was one such night.


Having ordered Indian, it arrived spot on the 60minute delivery time…I opened the door and Bliss peeped out of hers. Feeling happy and chilled this Friday evening I said she could get up and join me for a bit of tele and a second dinner. We watched an episode of Angelina Ballerina, had a little chat and headed back to bed about half an hour later.

Snuggled down in her bed I gave her a kiss and whispered…

Me: “I love you miss”

Bliss: “I love you miss”

Me: Well that makes me very very happy.”

Bliss: “It makes me very very happy too.”

Me: “Aren’t we lucky then? To love each other.”

She turned to look at me, pushing her little face up to me and said “Yes, we are lucky Mummy.”


My Heart Melts.

I don’t know where the last 3.5years have gone but this little girl before me really takes my breath away.