The Miner's Girl

The best of both worlds. Life as a fly-in, fly-out girlfriend.

Category: Lifestyle

Miner’s girl or mining Mum?

Copyright Minersgirl.com

Copyright Minersgirl.com

I think it’s fair to say that it’s taken me longer than expected to get back in the writing saddle. I knew things would change when I had a baby and I could blame my silence on the general craziness of surviving my first year as a Mum, but in all honesty, I have been nervous to start writing again.

I have always been slightly concerned that calling myself ‘Miner’s Girl’ looks as though I am defining myself by my partner’s career and could come across as; a) a bit old-fashioned; b) the antithesis of my actual feminist view; and c) just a bit sad!

When I started this blog there were no others for ‘partners’ that I could find. There were blogs for families, for mums and for miners themselves, but none for miner’s girls (or boys for that matter). And when I wrote the ‘about me’ section, I thought of myself as ‘sometimes single’, independent, free-spirited, confident etc. I was owning this lifestyle and loving the way it was working out and I wanted to be there for other women (and men) in the same position, who were at the beginning of their adventure and possibly finding it difficult.

But now I am not sure I feel like that – who am I now? Not that I’m having an existential crisis, but having just made the decision not to go back to my previous job, do I have my own life or am I just Mum and Miner’s Girl? Do I now belong to Mr Miner and Mini Miner and have no life outside that?

Before we had Mini Miner and even before I was pregnant, I wasn’t going to be one of those Mum’s, who didn’t do her hair, went out without makeup and wore daggy clothes. I was going to be a cool, young, fun Mum. But now I have mum jeans, mum hair, drive a mum car. I carry a nappy bag, push a stroller and have all the accessories, plus, at 32, I’m not sure who I was kidding with the young mum bit!

I was determined not to become ‘Mum’ and certainly not a ‘Mummy blogger’, mainly because there are plenty of great ones out there and there doesn’t need to be another (slightly mediocre) one.

So what now? I have been through a rigorous year of training and learnt some serious new skills. For instance, in one hour I can hang out washing, wash the floors, clean the bathroom, shower, dress and be ready to go with a toddler in tow. I can function on four hours sleep and I can act efficiently and calmly in the face of a major poonami. But I’m ready for something new, so what now?

Can I even go back to work? I would need a job within an hour’s travel of daycare, which excludes my old Sydney job. The jobs where we live now are few and far between for my skill set (talking about myself, oversharing and occasionally stringing sentences together). So that leaves retail and hospitality, which I would be happy to do, but I can’t be flexible with hours and the pay has to cover the cost of daycare in first place. And this is where my options run thin. I have huge respect for the single mum’s managing this struggle!

So here begins the frustration for so many families, and particularly mums. I had to give up my job for his job. When I say ‘had to’, I wasn’t forced, he didn’t make me, but as a couple it made more financial sense. It’s unfair on both of us as he should be able to have a year with Mini now, but I would have to go back to work full time and our income would still take a big hit. And if we were both working, Mini would be in daycare for 12 hours a day and I would be commuting and still having to do everything at home, a reality for some I know, but again this mixed blessing allows us the choice.

However, whilst I am slightly frustrated at the system and nervous about what comes next, I am very grateful for the opportunities and flexibility that the mining life (and Mr Miner’s hard work) gives me. I am going to enjoy Mini in his toddlerhood, enjoy being ‘Mum’ and hopefully rediscover Miner’s Girl, because I’m sure she’s still in here somewhere!

So there we have it. I’ve had my year (*ahem* 18 months…) off and it’s time to get back to it, to what I’m not sure, but hopefully writing this is a step in the right direction.

Becoming an introvert

via cheesewearingtheology.com

It’s no secret that I have always been a serious sufferer of FOMO (or fear or missing out). I can’t say no to an invitation, even when I have other things to do, and I’m often the last to leave, even when the wine has run out and everything’s going downhill fast.

When I was first in a DIDO relationship, one of the things I found hardest was the thought of a long empty weekend stretching in front of me with nothing to do. In fact a lot of difficulties in our relationship have revolved around my extroverted personality versus Mr Miner’s introvert tendencies, but now things seem to be changing.

Since the creation of Peg (the part-person, part-egg, currently residing in my belly), I’ve had a sudden revelation. I can’t believe I’m about to stay this, but I love staying in!

Of course at first I wanted to stay in because in those first few weeks of nausea and overwhelming exhaustion (seriously, of all the things to do with pregnancy nobody warns just how exhausting that is), anything harder than clicking the remote control from the sofa felt like it would destroy me.

Now though, I am just happy to stay at home all weekend pottering. Maybe it’s a form of nesting or maybe it’s because I can’t hit the vodka shots on a Friday night, but I’m just not interested in going out. And I don’t want to sound all smug and pious, but waking up on a Saturday morning with a clear head and no regrets is a pretty good feeling – who knew you can get so much done in a weekend?!?

I am not saying I don’t still crave a glass of red on a Friday night and I may have had a couple of very small spritzers… (and maybe one Pimms) in the last couple of months, but there has been a definite change  in the way I choose to spend my spare time.

I know you shouldn’t have to have alcohol to have a good time, and maybe it’s the realisation that drunk people are boring/annoying (myself included), but I just don’t want to go out in the evening for anything more than a quiet dinner or cinema date.

I don’t want to be one of those people who never go out and it’s important for me not to stop socializing with my friends just because I’m pregnant, especially as I rely on them so much as my support circle when Mr Miner’s away, but I definitely have a limit. I’m a bit like Cinderella, except 10pm is my limit and it’s me, rather than my coach, turning into a pumpkin!

Having said all this, I was driving home at 10pm the other evening after a quiet dinner and it was one of those great summer nights, where the air is buzzing, full of lights and music and that heady mix of cheap perfume, cheaper drinks and the pheromones of attractive, single, twenty-somethings. Suddenly I could feel that familiar pang in my stomach – FOMO.

As I say, it’s not that I really want to go out and get smashed. In fact I miss dancing most of all. But let’s face it, unless you’re Jenna Dewan-Tatum, we’re all much more seductive dancers after a few vinos, and that combined with the fact that a pregnant woman gyrating is pretty terrifying for others, as well as dangerous for nearby glassware, has put me off moving on to a club after one or two soda waters. I am also keen not to end up rejected on the pavement, like a scene from Knocked Up!

Personally, I really think there is currently a missed opportunity for a sober disco for pregnant ladies, with non-alcoholic champagne and mocktails and a strict dress code of lycra maternity wear, elasticated waists and slippers or thongs… a place where pregnant women are welcome, because I’ve also started to feel like I can’t go out when Mr Miner’s away too. It’s as if  I need a partner to explain the pregnancy, to reassure the men folk that I am not a soon-to-be single Mum on a last-minute hunt for a father for my child.

And all of this sends me into a panic about not being myself anymore. Will I ever be allowed to go out without an escort again? Have I lost my independence? If I do go out, will I have to start mum dancing now – swaying from foot-foot-foot to seventies music in a circle with my other Mum friends? (Sorry Mum!).

Of course I have friends with kids who have come out of the other side of newborn chaos and go out and socialise just like we used to. Shock horror, they are still normal human beings, capable of drinking, dancing and having fun! So maybe it won’t be so bad and soon I will be back to my extroverted self, getting in trouble with Mr Miner for going a bit too wild.

But as I wake up with a clear head and a long lazy Sunday stretching out in front of me, my newly found introverted lifestyle also doesn’t seem all that bad after all.

Confessions of a shopaholic

I am a Miner’s Girl and I am a shopaholic.

Or rather I was a shopaholic. Not in a maxing-out-all-of-my credit-cards-on-expensive-shoes kind of way (although I have definitely bought shoes that I really couldn’t afford), but more in a,can and will shop anywhere, anytime kind of way.

But this year, I’ve changed. I’m shunning those racks of snuggly, soft winter woolies, slinky dresses and shiny shoes. I am ignoring the smell of buttery soft new leather and the luxurious perfume counter. I am not missing the weight of shopping bags, stiff and new with the promise of something pretty inside (honestly).

Each year for the past three years I have chosen to adopt a cause, picked something I care about and decided that this is my year to make a difference. For example two years ago I decided that I was going to stop using chemical cleaning products (this is where someone will pedantically point out that water is a chemical, but you know what I mean) and last year I gave up buying any beauty products that didn’t state they were not tested on animals on the label.

At the start of this year after returning home from the UK with a suitcase packed full of new purchases, I turned on the radio whilst unpacking, only to come across a program titled ‘Can Choosing to Live with Less Make You Happier?’ and I looked at all my shiny new purchases crammed into my wardrobe and thought, do I really need these?

Now, I am not about to get all preachy and rant on about the fact that everyone should stop shopping, or get all hippy dippy about how I feel so much more ‘free’ without the constraints of shopping, but six months in I need to share this story before I crack like my old leather boots.

The program touched on the obvious economic and environmental aspects of saving both money, (always tempting) and the planet (which we all think would be nice to do), but also looked at psychological issues such as hoarding or shopping addiction, and as I listened it started to dawn on me that I had a problem. Like I said, not a huge problem affecting my life and relationships – I wasn’t selling my vital organs in order to buy Chanel and Gucci – but I was definitely developing a little dependency.

Over the last few years I had come to notice a correlation between Mr Miner being at work and my shopping habit. I would shop because I was bored and it gave me something to do, but also because it was a little thrill that made me feel better and I would reason that because he was away and I was on my own, I deserved a treat.

It could be anything from a new jacket to a fancy moisturiser, but my go to treats were lingerie and pyjamas. I mean lingerie is an essential, right? And when your other half is away you need something nice for when they get home, plus it makes me feel good. Almost as good as it feels to have a bath and cover myself in moisturiser and new pyjamas, before curling up and treating myself to a girly movie when I’m all alone.

But then the guilt would come… I probably shouldn’t have spent that much on things I don’t really need. Should I take something back? Perhaps the pyjamas, I mean how many pairs of pyjamas does one person need? But… they’re so pretty, my favourite colour and so, so soft… plus it’s cold and I haven’t bought any new ones for at least a month. After all I’m saving money staying in ALONE tonight. I deserve a treat. I can live on soup and toast for the rest of the week. Perhaps after I get a take away tonight. How much do you have to order for them to deliver? I’ll probably have to buy extra. I’m sad, I definitely need my pyjamas… and perhaps a new fancy moisturiser for after my bath… and maybe a DVD…. And so it goes on.

And I don’t want to sound flippant, I mean I’m not drowning my sorrows in drink or drugs, but I can understand how easily I could do that. Treating yourself to a nice red wine because it’s Friday night and you’re home alone, but there’s none open so you’ll have to open a bottle and now it’s open you might as well finish it. And the next night you feel guilty, but why should you? This is normal. Open another bottle. And so it goes on.

So despite the fact that it is winter and I have bought no new clothes for six months and those fluffy pyjamas are crying out to me, I am determined to make it to the one year mark, by which point I’ll no longer need them anyway.

If you or someone you know need help with addiction, please contact Lifeline.

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