Monday, March 16, 2015


 By Emily Beetleshack
The original author of The Beetle Shack, Emily is a chronic over sharer and collector of unnecessary consumer goods. In a past life Emily was a high school Visual Arts teacher. She always enjoyed the ‘naughty’ kids the most; the ones who were resistant to following the rules and questioned the boundaries. They were interesting, challenging and funny. When she was pregnant with her first child she could be heard saying, “I hope I have a cheeky child, one that speaks his mind and is rebellious in nature”. Unsurprisingly, she did. In the archives of the Beetle Shack you'll find her tales of raising her own ‘spirited’ children whilst swanning about the house dressed as a fruit salad.

'I am both loved and completely and utterly disrespected each and every day. My life is nothing like it was and I am nothing like I was.'

A belated celebration of International Women's Day. 

When I was a bit younger, a bit skinnier and a bit hotter I thought I was pretty good. I mean, I had a nice family, lived in a nice suburb by the beach, finished a uni degree or two, got married to a babe, bought an apartment, had a good job, bought another house and did some travelling. I could drink beer and not get a hangover, wear high heels everyday and not hurt my feet, buy designer threads without running out of cash and I didn't have hairs on my chin. I probably thought I was a little superior, truth be told.
Life is a great leveller.  
In the past three years I have watched my body expand and never quite return to the shape it once was. I have laboured for days, breathed through contractions, declined offers of drugs and taken long hot baths believing that my body 'knew what it needed to do' only to find that it didn't, and I couldn't. I have fed those babies from my breast, my now tiny, empty, saggy breasts. I have been out of the workforce so long I wonder if it would ever take me back. My wardrobe consists of size 12's from Glassons and the last holiday I had was to my in-laws weekender. 
I now have two children to raise.* Two individual people who I can't control, only shape.
Motherhood is a tough gig, one that  know I'll always struggle with. But it is the most joyful and humbling experience. I am both loved and completely and utterly disrespected each and every day. My life is nothing like it was and I am nothing like I was.
I'm broken, stripped bare and unworthy, yet I have been given the richest blessing imaginable in those two little people. Those sweet creatures that call me mum and clearly state my inadequacies, faults and prickles. Just this morning while giving Zeph a big bear hug, he pulled away, rubbed my chin and said 'what's that? oh, a prickle... i don't like that mum'. hump. case in point.
We are a collective, us mothers. 
Happy International Women's Day.

*Make that 3!


  1. This made me laugh and laugh Em about the prickle. I had the ahem "enjoyable" experience of my 7 year old DS gently stroking my face and then telling me not to worry he was grooming my moustache. I'm told by my DH and Mum that its so faint you cant see it but I'm uber paranoid now :-)

  2. There is nothing like being humbled by your children. I always had a natural set of boobs to be proud of - so when we my daughter looked at me after a shower and said, "Wow Mum, your boobs are reeeeeeally.......*I am expecting big, round, like rockmelons*.......long, I almost cried!!!!!

    Great post :)

  3. I had to congratulate my daughter on her fabulous use of vocabulary when she described my boobs as 'melting down my stomach'. Melting, how vivid and depressing at the same time!!!!

  4. It is very humbling having children and growing older. It's funny when I was young slim and had flawless skin I was never happy with my looks even though I was young and naturally beautiful. Now that I am older, grey and with some wrinkles I am finally happy with my looks. But I do wish I appreciated how good I looked back then!

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em