Going Back: Coming Home

Photo by Vlad Bagacian on Unsplash

“What do you want for the next year?” he asks on the eve after my 37th birthday.

I sit with the question. The weight of what he’s asking me. Angry, desperate thoughts clamouring for space. Resentment driving nails into this coffin that once (or was that a dream?) held peace.

“I want to stop feeling like I’m teetering on the edge of something. Always one step away from breaking.” He nods like he understands. Does he?

Two hours before, the sound of raucous little boy play drives me out, out and away. The door slams behind me, a satisfying thud…

“Our homes work hard to keep us safe and comfortable. We must treat them with gratitude.” — Marie Kondo

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Today I packed away the last of the china bound for the charity store. Folded the last of the single-use plastic bags around the delicate bowls (sorry environment) because we’d run out of packing supplies. Tape is torn from the roll with teeth — there is no time for scissors. Boxes begat boxes all over the living room floor in a necessary kind of chaos.

The room smells of old cardboard and regret.

As I move from room to room taking stock of all that’s left to do, my eyes catch the word ‘New Zealand’ etched into the dining table…

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She sits staring at the sepia-stained photograph. The edges worn and weathered, like the skin on the hands that hold it. It’s a photo of her. She is four. Her hair bounces around her face in Shirley Temple ringlets. Her cheeks and lips are artificially blushed. She is happy.

The photo hides her reality. The hole in her heart that she seeks to fill every time she twirls in front of her daddy, begging him to love her.

To see her.

Her stoic daddy hides behind the morning paper and the evening news. He hides in his shed where his…

“What’s the story you’re telling yourself?”

Photo by Mariana Vusiatytska on Unsplash

She paced my tiny office clutching a box of tissues like a lifeline while she poured her soul into my four walls. She’d experienced trauma and so she did what most of us do when we are hurt and afraid.

She hid.

With every bottled emptied, she pushed herself down a little, then deeper still. She’d burned a few bridges, but she’d managed to fool the world. Nobody knew but me.

She was smart, capable, beautiful.


She’d missed her morning class, again. She was failing. Failing at this one last hope she’d had for a better life. …

America, get ready for Bluey

Photo Credit: ABC KIDS ( https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-07/brisbane-bluey-opens-doors-for-animation-in-queensland/10332858)

If you’ve not yet seen the 7-minute instalment of #parentinggoals delivered by a family of lovable pups, you’re missing out!

Earlier this month, Disney broadcast the show in the USA after becoming the Australian Broadcasting Corp’s most downloaded show. Ever.

What sets Bluey apart from the crowd is not just the distinctly Australian expressions, but the play-based parenting style of ‘Dad’ (a.k.a Bandit). Dad works from home with his two adorably wiley pups ‘Bluey’ and ‘Bingo’. His work is regularly interrupted with requests to play. Something work-at-home parents across the globe know an awful lot about.

However, unlike most other…

A Tale of Unbecoming

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.— Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

1. Questions

We sit in a vegan café, pausing between bites of meat-free fare to talk about the joyful yet heavy experience of making space for our children in today’s world. A world that is so radically different from the one we knew as children.

Why is motherhood so hard?” we both wonder aloud.

Perhaps we’d both bought into the diaper commercial kind of parenting. The kind full of giggles and…

A Fresh Perspective

Photo by Scott Stewart on Unsplash

I’m no stranger to the challenges of coping with little noisemakers when you’re an introvert. However, I’ve been shocked to see how many introverts make statements about birth control as if having children is the worst possible fate for somebody who prefers to leave parties early. If they go at all.

Once I got over the fact that so many people question the logic of procreating, I began to understand their perspective. I mean, as a lover of solitude, what lunatic decides it would be a good idea to bring a helpless screaming child into their home? …

The Longest Goodbye

Photo by Leon Contreras on Unsplash

She arrived in a rush. A burst of light ushered her into the world. Soft, pink, healthy. The glow of new life flickered wild within her.

Then, just as suddenly, the flame was gone.

How do you measure a life? Is it by the number of souls you touch? The legacy you leave behind? The mark you leave on the world? Your footprint in the sands of time?

The nurses move in and out of the room. A parade of concern flowing in and around the space you call home.

You’re high as a kite. The nurses don’t know about…

Kate Burnett

Tasmanian copywriter | Tea enthusiast | Figuring stuff out one word at a time www.wordartistry.com.au

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