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the best things in life aren’t free

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

I need to lose weight, at least 4 kgs, more if I can. I have actually managed to GAIN weight since my son was born. I know why. I didn’t have any weight to lose and took it for granted. I lost nearly 10kgs early in my pregnancy because I was so sick. The day after my son was born I was actually 8kgs lighter than when I got pregnant. Add to that a little thing called depression to get through and I didn’t gain anything for a few months after the birth either.

It’s like anything in life. When you don’t work for something it can be very hard to properly appreciate it. The song is a lie, the best things in life are not free, you have to work at them, appreciate them and recognise them every day… or they will leave you!

I have a terrible habit of giving out wonderful advice but never taking any of it myself. I am good at glossing over my problems and coming across like a well put together woman who has her shit sorted. Most of my friends were shocked to read my article last week admitting I had been suffering with post natal depression. Only a few very close to us knew the struggle I was having in the early months of my son’s life. Everyone else thought we were going along just fine. I’ve always been good at putting on a brave face.

People are also surprised to learn that I am painfully shy. One workmate once said to me, you are the farthest thing from shy there is. He didn’t know the half of it. But that’s another story for another day.

This time I’m not going to hide. Be it ever so trivial and unoriginal, I am going to share my weight loss journey with you. It’s the only way I can keep myself accountable. I’ll keep you up to date through Facebook so you aren’t bombarded with updates in your mail box. Follow me at if you want to see how I’m going or if you want to join in the challenge yourself!

my name is Ebby and I have postnatal depression

Image courtesy of Google

Image courtesy of Google

From the moment I conceived I lived in fear of developing depression and as my pregnancy wore on in sickness and pain I felt it creeping in as each day passed. I tried to put it down to hormones and baby blues but when my baby boy was put in my arms for the first time I knew it was more than that. I looked down on this tiny, helpless life in my hands and felt… nothing.


My baby was born by caesarean and with breathing difficulties he was rushed away from me in to the special care nursery. I didn’t see him for 36 hours. I lay in my hospital bed looking down on my once bulging belly and it was gone, but where was my son? I have no doubt that those first hours intensified the already overwhelming emotions of my pregnancy and labour. By the time the nurse handed him to me the first time I was already so disconnected from the baby, he might as well have been a stranger’s child placed in my arms. I wanted to love and protect him, I wanted to feel like a mum, but there was nothing. I was already lost in a haze of overwhelming fear and panic.


I was so lucky, I had so much help. An understanding husband, grandparents who were happy to give up their time to babysit and the finances to hire nannies to help me through the sleepless nights when I was at my worst. But nothing helped. I would hear my baby crying and even if he was right beside me, it felt like I was so far away, like it was someone else’s life I was watching from a distance. I felt like I was in a suspended reality. Life stopped. I was treading water with weighted legs and my head was starting to go under.


Just before Christmas I finally got the courage to see my Doctor. Maybe it was the voice of an outsider or the way she said it, but I left her office that day feeling as though I wasn’t useless, that I was doing my best and there was no shame in admitting I couldn’t cope.


By the time the New Year rang in the fog had started to lift. With a clearer mind I started to realise, no other job on earth is as hard as parenthood. In no industry in any office around the world are you expected to work such long hours under such emotional and physical strain, with little to no rest between shifts. And in those early weeks before the smiles or giggles and cuddles, there really is no thanks, no appreciation for all your hard work. You are the slave and your little bundle of not so much joy is the master.


mum and bugDays slowly passed and with each week my little man grew and changed. I barely remember those early days and looking back at photos of him then, so little and fragile, feels like someone else’s life. These days when I go to him, he smiles and ties himself in knots with excitement that I’m close. He reaches out to touch me when I sit beside him. He laughs when I’m silly. He looks at me like he knows I’m mummy and I’m doing my best. We’re a team.


To the mummies still stuck in the darkness, I promise it gets easier. One day you will wake up and the sun will be shining and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this drooling, pooping, screaming little person attached to you all day. Enjoy the quiet moments when you can and when there are none just remember that one day too soon our babies will be all grown up and asking us to drop them around the corner from school so their friends don’t see us. Until then, hold them close, life will get back to normal soon. An entirely new, wonderful kind of normal.

For more information about postnatal depression please visit Beyond Blue and if you need help talk to your Doctor or Community Nurse.

dreams interrupted

If I asked you today what you would be doing for a living if money wasn’t an issue, what would you say? Be as outlandish as you want, what is your most precious dream for your life?

Do you want to be an actress, win Australian Idol, open a school in Africa, be a nurse in Cambodia, start a party planning business, write a novel…? How many nights have you spent laying in bed playing out that dream in your mind, only to wake in the morning to the usual voice in your head telling you it’s too hard, you’re silly to even think it? You have bills to pay, kids to feed, no experience, friends and family who don’t believe in you…

You’re crazy! You’re stupid! You’re DREAMING!

When you were a kid, did you imagine yourself living the life you have today? When did being a vet or a Doctor, a musician or an astronaut become a stupid, crazy idea?

When did we decide to put our dreams on Ritalin?

At work last year we were asked to support a local charity by filling in questionnaires for young people in their program. It asked questions like, what did you want to be when you grew up and what is your advice to young people today? It made me think about the dreams I had when I was in high school and I wondered, if I met my sixteen year old self, would she be proud of how I turned out and what I’d achieved, or would she be disappointed in me for not chasing her dreams? Did I sell out and give up on her?

I know she’d be disappointed that I’ve taken out the eyebrow ring and I would choose brand name clothing over “vintage”, that I’ve pretty much forgotten how to play guitar (we really only ever knew how to play about 3 songs anyway!) and I’m not acting or singing for a living. She’d be “totes devo” that I work in an office and wear a suit every day, that I drive a city SUV and that the majority of the songs on my iPod are in the pop charts, no Triple J’s hottest 100 in sight (seriously teen self, WAIT until you get an iPod, they are so much better than the walkman, seriously, THOUSANDS of songs and it fits in your pocket!!).

I know there are some things she’d be pretty impressed by, I moved to the city, travelled the world, I can buy most things I want and I met & married an amazing man. Yes teen self, he’s an accountant but dating geeks is cool now! Oh and the biggest trip out of all, you have a BABY! A gorgeous baby son, and don’t worry, it will be really hard at first but you’re good at it and you will grow in to it. I promise!

Teen self wanted to be famous, either acting or singing, or both! It’s all she ever thought about. Many a night was spent in front of the mirror, music blasting, lip syncing to No Doubt or practising her Grammy and Oscar acceptance speeches. Maybe she’ll take some comfort in the fact that sometimes, I still do!

I hope she’d be proud of me and forgive me for taking a different path than what she had imagined for herself. I know she’d be happy that in the last few weeks I’ve started to honour her dreams and aspirations again and I’m loving it. I’ve even rediscovered the joys of thrift shopping!

To that young girl still singing in front of the mirror waiting for her life to unfold, I’m so happy I found my way back, I missed you.

What would your teen self think about the person you grew up to be? Did you dumb down your dreams or are you still chasing?

pay it forward

I asked my Facebook followers this week to let me know what they wanted to read about, what was catching their attention in the media or what was bothering them at the moment that they’d like to talk about. Unfortunately I didn’t get a very good response but one that did resonate with me was from a girl named Kristy who said she had been affected by what she saw on the news about troubles in the Ukraine.

We all see stories on the evening news or in the media that disturb us sometimes. I often sit in front of the TV wondering what I can do to help communities in need or countries in crisis. For us as individuals of course the problems are too big, what can we do as ordinary everyday people to change things?

Kristy wanted to write a letter to the government about how Australia could help with what is going on in the Ukraine but she felt that it would be pointless, because what difference would a letter from one person make? My advice was to go ahead and write the letter. Yes, maybe Kristy’s lone voice won’t make a difference but imagine if everyone who had the same idea followed through with it.

Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world”. If everyone who was affected by the trouble in the Ukraine, the war in the Middle East or the crimes against human rights in the Congo put pen to paper, government houses would be flooded with mail and would surely have to take notice.

Kristy’s simple message made me wonder, what sort of world do I want my son to grow up in? What can I do to make a positive change in our community?

giveMy husband and I were having lunch last week at a local café and when he went to pay the bill the cashier told him it had already been taken care of. To this day we don’t know who paid for our meal, although we have our suspicions. Without knowing for sure, we can’t repay that person or thank them properly. All I could do was write a heartfelt thank you on social media hoping they would see it and now we’ve commit to paying it forward.

I know the world’s problems and my free lunch may not seem connected at all but imagine this, if every time someone did something good for you, you paid it forward to someone else. All that means is that you do something good for someone with no expectation of being repaid or even thanked. If everyone carried on paying it forward, we could change the world.

So next time you think you are powerless to make the world a better place, think a little closer to home. Do something nice for a stranger and when they ask how they can repay you simply tell them to pay it forward. Or if someone does something nice for you, make a point of doing something nice for someone else.

We might not be able to change the world on our own but one kind act at a time, we can make it a better place.

mysterious ways to happier days

I have shingles… Most of you probably think, what the? Isn’t shingles something old, sick people get? No, this is my second episode! I’ve also had gout… not just oldies get that either. I spent most of last year incredibly sick and miserable and this last little kick while I’m down has lead me to one conclusion, the universe agrees with me that something needs to seriously change in my life!

Last week I shared my decision with you to unpack all my beautiful things from storage and you’ll be very happy to hear we are now using our wedding china as our everyday crockery and loving it! Now all the things our friends and family generously gave us in celebration of our marriage is being used and appreciated each day.

I also told you about wanting to chill out and get back to my barefoot dancing days. This illness has made me realise the universe agrees with me that it’s time to slow down, take care of myself and my body and get back to basics.

So I’ve ordered my Noni juice and have been reading my blood type diet book and am back on the health wagon. This is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change.

It’s time to start feeling the best I’ve ever felt in my life.

likeI hope you’ll join me on this journey and find something here that will resonate with you. My 365 days of gratitude already forces me to see all the blessings I have in my life every day, even when I am sick in bed and it would be easy to feel sorry for myself! I hope it’s inspired you to look at life a little differently and appreciate the things you might take for granted.

Today there is nothing that has left me to wonder, today everything is crystal clear. I feel better, I have better, I am better.

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